Nov. 19 – Florida Gulf Coast’s fast attacking offense put Hawaii on the defensive during the home game of the Rainbow Wahine basketball team.
Florida’s Gulf Coast fast attacking offensive put Hawaii on the defensive during the home game of Rainbow Wahine’s basketball team.
The visiting Eagles fired 3-pointers early and often to open a commanding lead in the first quarter and raced to a 65- 45 win of it.
Florida Gulf Coast, America’s most prolific 3-point shooting team in the last three seasons, dropped 12 from long range and led by as much as 30 in the second half to spoil UH’s home debut in front of a 407 afternoon crowd.
“You don’t want to take an L like that on your home pitch, especially not in the opening game,” said UH coach Laura Beeman. “This is a really good team that we played against and we played really bad basketball today.”
ASUN Preseason Player of the Year FGCU guard Tishara Morehouse went 3-on-5 from 3-point range on her way to a game-high 17 points, stealing three of the Eagles’ 10 steals. Guard Kaela Webb hit four 3-pointers to account for her 12 points.
After UH faced a group of guards at 6ft in a loss to Portland last week, FGCU guards, led by the 5ft 3 Morehouse, harassed the Wahine in 22 turnovers and the Eagles (3-0) built a 26-8 lead in points away from Takeaways.
“They don’t put that much pressure all over the field, but they do half the field. They’re really quick and quick,” said UH guard Lily Wahinekapu.
In their first official home game with UH, Wahinekapu led the Rainbow Wahine with nine points in 3-on-9 shooting and the Wahine shot 35.3% as a team. Sophomore guard Daejah Phillips and freshman Jovi Lefotu each added eight points. Lefotu went off the field 4-for-5.
Forward Jacque David finished her season debut with seven points, including a 3-point, and forward Kallin Spiller had 11 rebounds.
With FGCU firing from long range and then falling back on defense, UH had a 48-27 rebound advantage. But the Eagles only made eight turnovers, with the first coming with less than a minute left in the first half.
“The way they play offensively accelerates them offensively, and we’re not ready to play fast basketball until we’re ready to execute it,” Beeman said.
The Rainbow Wahine (0-3) have a day to regroup before taking on Lipscomb in the final of the tournament at 2pm on Sunday. San Diego defeated Lipscomb 49-45 in the first game on Friday.
“I have to have a mentality for the next game,” said Wahinekapu. “We have a new team to play against, so we’re just going to watch a movie about them (today) and study their game and hopefully make adjustments from this game to the next.”
The Eagles took charge early Friday, making 13 of their first 17 shots from behind the arc. They hit four 3s and took a 19-6 lead in the first quarter. FGCU hit three more 3-pointers in an 11-0 run to open the second quarter and led 30-6 as Morehouse lost her second third of the period.
On the other hand, the Eagles forced 12 turnovers in the first half to go into halftime with a 39-19 lead.
Webb hit two 3-pointers on a 10-0 run to start the third quarter and extend the lead to 30. The Eagles eventually cooled off a little late, going without a field goal in the final 5:14 of the period. By then, they were on track to improve to 3-0 in the all-time series with UH.
“We have to make a decision that we want to execute on both sides of the ball and when that happens we’re a very, very different team,” Beeman said.
The Wahine will get another shot at FGCU, currently on an 11-day stint on Oahu, on November 26th in the Rainbow Wahine Shootout.