Smith ends UH career with a double-double
LAS CRUCES, N.M. » Tanya Smith closed her Hawaii career with yet another double-double.
Unfortunately, the outcome of her Western Athletic Conference tournament stay was all too familiar as well.
The senior from Australia had 11 points and 11 rebounds last night in a 55-40 quarterfinal loss to New Mexico State at the Pan American Center.
It marked her 20th double-double of the season and 33rd of her career.
After playing in just five games as a freshman, Smith closed her career with 904 points, 816 rebounds and 91 blocked shots. Her rebounding total puts her third on UH's career list and her average of 8.9 boards per game is second best in the program's history.
"The post players I played against were so strong they helped me get better each year," Smith said. "I just looked up to all those girls and wanted to get better each season."
Also ending their UH careers last night were Amy Kotani, Saundra Cariaga, Shannon Nishi and Iwona Zagrobelna.
"We've been close a couple times and, especially for the seniors who put all the hard work in and all the time, for us not to at least get to the next round, I think that's really disappointing for them," UH coach Jim Bolla said.
NMSU freshman Madison Spence
drew a chuckle in the interview when she referred to the man sitting to her left as "Coach Dad."
Spence, the daughter of NMSU head coach Darin Spence, led the Aggies with 20 points last night, snuffing UH's comeback hopes in the second half.
Last night's game marked the first time UH junior Tara Hittle
experienced a loss in WAC tournament play.
Hittle helped the UH women's volleyball team win WAC titles each year in her career. She had 13 kills in UH's five-game win over NMSU on the same floor in November.