Pacific Falls In Overtime at Hawai'i, 74-71

Pacific Falls In Overtime at Hawai'i, 74-71

HONOLULU, Hawai'i - Despite a season-high 22 points from Gena Johnson and four players scoring in double-figures, the Pacific women's basketball team fell in overtime at Hawai'i, 74-71, Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Erica McKenzie finished with 15 points, while Kendall Rodriguez and Kendall Kenyon each tallied 10. Kenyon posted her 12th double-double with 10 rebounds as well.

But it was Ashleigh Karaitiana's three-pointer from the corner with 13.1 seconds left that gave Hawai'i the win. Pacific's three-point attempt on the Tigers' last possession rattled around but didn't fall.

"We just ran out of time," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "They hit a huge three at the end of regulation, and a huge three at the end of overtime. You have to credit Hawai'i for hitting big shots."

Pacific rallied from down five to tie and force overtime, and came back from down four in the extra session with McKenzie drives to tie the game. After Shawna-Lei Kuehu gave Hawai'i the lead again in overtime, Johnson answered with a lay-up. But on the Rainbow Wahine's final possession, Karaitiana canned her three for the game-winning score.

"I'm proud of the way we fought back. It was quite a bit of adversity - at one point, we had four players with four fouls playing - but we have good defensive players that got stops when we needed them down the stretch. I think they were really keyed on our three-point shooters, and that opened up our attacking lanes for Gena and Erica to get to the rim."

The Tigers fall to 19-6 on the season, and 9-4 in the Big West. Hawai'i moves into a first-place tie at 9-4 and improves to 13-11 overall.

"At this point in the season, we're getting everyone's best shot," Roberts added. "While this is heartbreaking, I don't think it's devastating. We still control our own destiny."

Pacific was out-rebounded 35-29 and saw the Rainbow Wahine attempt 40 free throws to the Tigers' 17, as Pacific was whistled for 30 fouls in the contest. But the Rainbow Wahine converted only 22 of the 40 attempts. The Tigers' hot-hand from three-point range cooled off. After Pacific hit three of four in the first half, giving them 18 makes on their last 27 attempts, the Tigers hit 2-of-11 from behind the arc in the second half and overtime.

Pacific stormed out of the gate as Rodriguez hit a pair of three-pointers for an 8-0 lead. Gena Johnson and Sam Pettinger added lay-ups as the Tigers led 12-7 five minutes in. After a three by Hawai'i's Monica DeAngelis, Johnson converted an and-one and Kenyon tallied inside as the Tigers held their largest lead of the first half, 22-13 with 9:21 to go in the half.

With Pacific's starting lineup racking up fouls, the Rainbow Wahine chipped into the lead, out-scoring the Tigers 17-7 in the final 8:23. The Tigers went scoreless on eight trips, with a pair of turnovers while Hawai'i drew within three on a jumper from Martin and a free throw by Kuehu.  Ashley Smith ended a five-minute drought with a pair of free throws, and Sam Pettinger drove for a lay-up to restore a five-point Pacific lead at 27-22. But the Rainbow Wahine outscored Pacific 8-2 in the final 3:23 of the half, taking their first lead on a Kuehu jumper.

Pettinger scored seven first-half points in 14 minutes, subbing in for Ashley Wakefield, who was on the bench with early foul trouble.

In the second half, Hawai'i led nearly the entire way as Pacific shuffled players in and out with foul trouble mounting. However, Pacific remained within five the entire time.

Rodriguez hit back-to-back jumpers to turn a five-point deficit into a 40-39 Hawai'i lead with 14:41 left in regulation. After three free throws by the Rainbow Wahine, Johnson drove for a floater in the paint. Kuehu responded with two baskets, but Kenyon and Claire Conricode posted lay-ups right back.

Kuehu's free throws restored a four-point margin, but McKenzie drained a three-pointer, and after the Rainbow Wahine extended the margin back to four, McKenzie's last three-ball pulled the Tigers to within 53-52 eight 6:39 to go in the second half.

The pace slowed as Destiny King and Kenyon traded jumpers, and Gena Johnson brought Pacific back with a drive to tie the score at 59-59 with 3:46 to go.

After a pair of stops, Johnson gave the Tigers their lone lead of the second half, at 61-59 with 2:00 to play in regulation, taking it to the rim again, while being fouled.

But Kamiliah Martin tied the game for Hawai'i with 1:42 left with a strong post-move. With 1:08 to go in regulation, Monica DeAngelis drilled a three from the corner for a 64-61 Hawai'i advantage.

But Johnson took it to the rack and Pacific fouled with 31 seconds left. Sydney Haydel hit one of two, and Johnson drove the lane with nine seconds to go in regulation, getting to the free throw line after being hacked. Johnson's slow rotation enabled a long attempt to bounce throw, and she swished the second to knot the game at 65-65.

On the final attempt of regulation by Hawai'i, the Tigers went big with Kenyon guarding the inbound and Ashley Smith bodying up Martin in the paint. Smith deftly forced Martin away from the bucket and her turn around shot was offline at the end of regulation.

Pacific turned it over on two of the first three possessions of overtime, and Kuehu scored inside and hit a pair of free throws for a 69-65 Hawai'i lead.

Tightly guarded on the perimeter, McKenzie drove to the rack and finished, and Pacific boxed out Martin on a missed Hawai'i shot on the other end. McKenzie drove for two again to tie the game at 71-71, and each team came up empty on their next possession.

DeAngelis found Karaitiana in the corner, who converted from the corner for a 74-71 Hawai'i lead with 13.1 to go. Pacific worked it up the floor and got McKenzie the ball in the corner, where her pressured three with five seconds to go struck the back iron and rolled off the rim. Martin pulled the rebound to the ground as the clock hit triple-zero.

Kuehu finished with a team-high 17 points, while Martin added 16 points and 12 rebounds. Karaitiana added 11 with DeAngelis chipping in 10 points and six assists.

The Tigers return home to face Cal State Fullerton on Thursday at 7 p.m. and will wrap their home schedule against UC Riverside on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Pacific's four conference losses have come against teams second, third and fourth in the Big West standings. The Tigers' final five opponents are among the bottom six of the conference standings, with Long Beach State tied for fifth.