Wahine whacked


POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2009

RENO, Nev. » Hawaii put a scare into No. 1 seed Fresno State before an ice-cold finish ended its season.













Fresno St.   













Bailey Amundsen tied a tournament record with six 3-pointers, all in the first half, and the defending champion Bulldogs held Hawaii to 19 percent shooting in the second half to pull out a 65-50 victory in the quarterfinals of the Western Athletic Conference tournament yesterday at the Lawlor Events Center.

The Wahine lost to the Bulldogs by 26 and 28 points in the regular season, but took a 34-33 lead on a jumper by Tara Hittle to start the second half.

It wound up being a rare sight as Hawaii did not make a field goal in the last 8:55 and shot 5-for-26 in the second half.

“;We were hoping to get an upset today,”; Hawaii acting head coach Pat Charity said. “;The ball just wouldn't fall for us in the second half.”;

Megan Tinnin led Hawaii with 15 points and seven rebounds and Catherine Cho scored six of her eight points in the first half as the Wahine trailed by one at halftime.

Bulldogs leading scorer Jaleesa Ross bounced back from a scoreless first half to finish with 13 points and six steals and Joh-Teena Filipe played big down low with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

“;Hawaii did a good job of making things tough on us,”; Fresno State coach Adrian Wiggins said. “;Every time we would go up by six or seven, they would come right back.”;

Fresno State blew Hawaii off the court in two previous meetings and led by as many as 12 in the first half.

Amundsen could not miss from the 3-point line, making her first five and finishing 6-for-7 in the first half.

Filipe's lay-up with 5:04 remaining capped a 10-0 run in less than 2 minutes to give the Bulldogs a 28-16 lead, but Hawaii answered with a 12-0 run.

Tinnin nailed two 3-pointers and had eight points during the run and Hittle, inserted into the game for the first time late in the half, wrecked havoc on the offensive glass, giving Hawaii an extra four possessions by keeping balls alive.

“;I've never seen a kid rebound so hard,”; Charity said. “;With her injury, I was afraid for her, but she wasn't afraid.”;

Hittle converted two free throws with 22 seconds remaining to give the Wahine their first lead of the game at 32-31 before Filipe's jumper from the top of the key put the Bulldogs up 33-32 at the break.

“;Every team has a goal to win the WAC championship,”; Filipe said. “;I felt like Hawaii came in here and just kept coming at us.”;

Filipe hit a shot to put the Bulldogs back in the lead and Ross drilled a 3-pointer for her first points of the game to go up by four.

Dita Liepkalne nailed a 3-pointer to close to 40-39, but the Wahine couldn't retake the lead as Fresno State outscored Hawaii 25-11 the rest of the way.

“;We didn't win, but we played together and I think it was a good last game to end on,”; Tinnin said. “;Before the game we had a good feeling. In our position, we had nothing to lose.”;

It was the final game for three Rainbow Wahine seniors, including Hittle, who played through a sore knee to score seven points and grab five rebounds in 17 minutes.

Cho, another senior, finished 4-for-10 from the field and was emotional after her final game for the Wahine.

“;Like any senior, it's hard to think of when your career finishes,”; Cho said as she fought back tears. “;As a whole I look back on the season and look at all my teammates and my coaches and we never put our heads down.

“;We made a push at the end of the season and today's game I think we came out and surprised everyone. I'm excited for this team in the future.”;


Fresno State 65, Hawaii 50




























































































































Rainbow Wahine (8-23, 4-12)



Bulldogs (22-8, 12-4)

Key—fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fouls; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.
Halftime—Fresno State 33, Hawaii 32
3-point goals—Hawaii 4-16 (Tinnin 3-7, Liepkalne 1-3, Hittle 0-1, Hamilton 0-2, Cho 0-3), Fresno State 11-33 (Amundsen 6-11, Ross 3-8, Arnold 1-3, Filipe 1-3, Brown 0-1, Fears 0-3, Munro 0-4).
Steals—Hawaii 8 (Liepkalne 2, Tinnin 2, Cho, Linton, Hittle, Patterson), Fresno State 10 (Ross 6, Filipe 2, Munro, Amundsen). Blocked shots—Hawaii 2 (Arbuckle 2), Fresno State 2 (Filipe 2).
Officials—Kent Johnson, Carla Fujimoto, Kyle Bacon. Attendance—N/A.