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Rainbow Wahine fall to Aggies in Big West final

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Morgan Bertsch scored 24 points, Cierra Hall added 14 and UC Davis rallied from a 17-point, third-quarter deficit to defeat the University of Hawaii women’s basketball team 58-50 on Saturday and win the Big West Conference tournament.

The Aggies (25-6) — who are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011 — trailed 45-36 early in the fourth quarter but scored 16 straight points during a 9:12 span. Sophia Song gave UC Davis the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 4:18 remaining.

Bertsch, who is the Big West’s player of the year and was named the tournament’s MVP, scored six points during the run and Hall added four. The Rainbow Wahine missed their last 12 shots from the field and had four turnovers during the run.

UC Davis was 7 of 27 from the field in the first half but went 13 of 25 over the final 20 minutes. Hawaii made nine of its first 18 but was 9 of 40 the rest of the game, including 5 of 25 in the second half.

Tia Kanoa had 15 points and Leah Salanoa scored 14 to lead Hawaii (15-16), which is headed to the WNIT.

“They knew we had the opportunity to win this and a little bit of pressure from Davis in the second half really affected us,” UH coach Laura Beeman said. “The basket got really small and the lights got really bright.”

Bertsch scored the Aggies’ first six points and gave them a 6-5 lead before Hawaii went on a 17-4 run the remainder of the quarter to take control. Kanoa had 10 points in the quarter, including a 3-pointer that gave the Rainbow Wahine a 22-10 advantage at the end of the first.

UC Davis missed all six shots from the field during the run and committed four turnovers while Hawaii was 7-of-12 shooting.

Hawaii led 32-18 at halftime and was up by as many as 17 early in the third quarter when the Aggies started to rally. They went on a 14-3 run to close the third as Bertsch scored five points to get within 42-36.

College Basketball

Saturday’s Results

MEN

TOURNAMENT

America East Conference

Championship

Vermont 66, UMBC 49

American Athletic Conference

Semifinals

Cincinnati 66, Wichita St. 63

Houston 61, Memphis 58

Atlantic 10 Conference

Semifinals

Saint Louis 67, Davidson 44

St. Bonaventure 68, Rhode Island 51

Atlantic Coast Conference

Championship

Duke 73, Florida St. 60

Big 12 Conference

Championship

Iowa St. 78, Kansas 66

Big East Conference

Championship

Villanova 74, Seton Hall 72

Big Sky Conference

Championship

Montana 68, E. Washington 62

Big Ten Conference

Semifinals

Michigan 76, Minnesota 49

Michigan St. 67, Wisconsin 55

Big West Conference

Championship

UC Irvine 92, Cal St.-Fullerton 64

Conference USA

Championship

Old Dominion 62, W. Kentucky 56

Ivy League

First Round

Harvard 66, Penn 58

Yale 83, Princeton 77

Mid-American Conference

Championship

Buffalo 87, Bowling Green 73

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Championship

NC Central 50, Norfolk St. 47

Mountain West Conference

Championship

Utah St. 64, San Diego St. 57

Pacific-12 Conference

Championship

Oregon 68, Washington 48

Southeastern Conference

Semifinals

Auburn 65, Florida 62

Tennessee 82, Kentucky 78

Southland Conference

Championship

Abilene Christian 77, New Orleans 60

Southwestern Athletic Conference

Championship

Prairie View 92, Texas Southern 86

Sun Belt Conference

Semifinals

Georgia St. 59, Texas St. 46

Texas-Arlington 67, Georgia Southern 58

Western Athletic Conference

Championship

New Mexico St. 89, Grand Canyon 57

WOMEN

TOURNAMENT

Big West Conference

Championship

UC Davis 58, Hawaii 50

Colonial Athletic Association

Championship

Towson 53, Drexel 49

Conference USA

Championship

Rice 69, Middle Tennessee 54

Ivy League

Semifinals

Penn 91, Harvard 62

Princeton 68, Cornell 47

Mid-American Conference

Championship

Buffalo 77, Ohio 61

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

Championship

Bethune-Cookman 57, Norfolk St. 45

Missouri Valley Conference

Semifinals

Drake 65, Illinois St. 54

Missouri St. 89, N. Iowa 64

Southland Conference

Semifinals

Abilene Christian 88, Lamar 79

Texas A&M-CC 58, Stephen F. Austin 56

Southwestern Athletic Conference

Championship

Southern U. 45, Jackson St. 41

Sun Belt Conference

Championship

UALR 57, South Alabama 56

Western Athletic Conference

Championship

New Mexico St. 76, Texas Rio Grande Valley 73