Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball could not overcome a strong second quarter from the University of Hawai’i on Saturday night and fell the Rainbow Wahine 70-55.
Center Daeja Smith scored a game-high 22 points while guard Raina Perez contributed 11 points of her own. The two combined for 33 of the team’s 55 points.
The first half was a back-and-forth game which ended with a 14-13 score favoring the Titans.
Smith scored the first six points for the Titans and shot a perfect 4-of-4 from the field to finish out the first quarter leading her team with eight points.
Hawai’i came back in the second quarter with more energy and enthusiasm. The Titans managed only nine points in the half , compared to their opponents’ 22. The Rainbow Wahine went on a 9-0 scoring run to close out the first half with a 35-23 lead.
The 35 points of the first half were accumulated by nine different players which yielded an impressive 57.7 percent from the field.
Every player that received playing time for Hawai’i scored.
The offensive performance for the Rainbow Wahine can be attributed to the lackluster defense played by CSUF, as the Titans were outrebounded on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
CSUF struggled once again in the second half with creating momentum and finding their groove.
The Titans were impacted by the loss of Carolyn Gill after she fouled out with nearly three minutes left in the contest.
However, Smith continued to dominate down low by scoring 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field.
The Rainbow Wahine edged out the Titans in every offensive category except free throws, as the Titans made all 17 of their free throw attempts.
On the defensive side, the Titans only beat Hawai’i in two categories:, blocks and steals.
The Hawai’i seniors took command of the game from the second half, pushing the tempo and forcing the Titans outside of their comfort zone.
The Rainbow Wahine held the lead the entire second half and positioned themselves for a regular season series split against the Titans despite being outscored in the third quarter.
Hawai’i ended the game with points scored by 10 different players, with three players reaching double digits.
The Titans now drop to 5-9 in conference play, which places them in sixth place in the Big West with two games remaining in the regular season.