Davies, Atwell lead Hawaii women to Big West title 59-48
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Olivia Davies and Amy Atwell combined to score 27 points, 21 in the second half when Hawaii used 14-0 and 8-0 runs to defeat UC Irvine 59-48 in the championship game of the Big West Conference tournament, earning the Rainbow Wahine their third NCAA Tournament berth.
Hawaii was down 29-24 before the first run, which featured five points each from Davies and Atwell. Nae Nae Calhoun’s basket made it 38-29 with 2:31 to go in the third.
Still, the Anteaters were within 41-36 entering the fourth quarter when Atwell, the conference player of the year and tournament MVP, scored five points in the 8-0 run. Her three free throws at the 6:53 mark had the lead at 49-36.
Irvine scored the next seven points but with the score 49-43 and 5:14 to play, both teams went cold.
Top-seeded Hawaii missed its last six shots and had four turnovers after Kallin Spiller’s bucket at the 7:46 mark. But the Rainbow Wahine made 14 of 17 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
Second-seeded Irvine, which hit 80 points in both of its other two tournament games, was 2 of 17 in the fourth quarter, missing consecutive nine shots and going almost six minutes between baskets.
Davis finished with 14 points and Atwell had 13. Nnenna Orji had 11 points and Daejah Phillips 10 rebounds for Hawaii (20-9), which has won eight straight and swept both regular-season games against the Anteaters. The Rainbow Wahine are now 3-4 in title games with championships in 1996 and 2016.
Kayla Williams and Jayde Cadee both had 11 points for the Anteaters (21-11) but where a combined 8-of-30 shooting. Irvine, which tied the school record for wins, had won six straight since its previous loss to Hawaii and is 1-5 in title games.
Hawaii was 0 for 10 from 3-point range and shot 28% in the first half to trail 26-21. Irvine hit five 3-pointers and led by as many as seven.
Hawaii finished 2 of 20 from 3-point range, Irvine 9 of 32. Hawaii was 27 of 32 from the foul line to 7 of 14 for the Anteaters.
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