Wahine Basketball: Drop close one to Tulsa

Wahine comeback comes up short against Golden Hurricane.

TULSA, Okla.--Hawaii came all the way back from a 16-point second half deficit, but were eventually turned back in a 45-42 loss to Tulsa Saturday afternoon at the Donald Reynolds Center. The Rainbow Wahine are still searching for their first road win of the year after dropping their fourth straight away from home.

The loss puts UH (11-7, 5-4) in a three-way tie for third in the Western Athletic Conference, while Tulsa (12-8, 7-2) grabbed sole possession of second. Allison Curtain scored 19 of her game-high 25 points in the first half, as the Golden Hurricane withstood a second-half rally to beat UH for the first time in six games.

The game was a tale of two halves. UH went scoreless the first six minutes of the game and went nearly six minutes against without a point later in the half. The poor shooting, coupled with Curtain's scoring onslaught spelled disaster for the Rainbow Wahine.

A 13-point halftime deficit grew to 16 points on Tulsa's first possession of the second half. That's when UH started chipping away. The Rainbow Wahine limited the Golden Hurricane to just 15 points and 16 percent shooting in the second half. Curtain, the WAC's leading scoring, scored just six points in the final 20 minutes.

An April Atuaia jumper with 6:46 left tied the score, 37-37, and had UH looking for its second comeback victory in the last three games. Tulsa took the lead, but Hawaii pulled with one, 43-42, with 1:36 remaining, on Jade Abele's only bucket of the day. UH, however, could not get over the hump. The Rainbow Wahine missed an opportunity to take the lead on the their next possession and a pair of Tulsa free throws made it a three-point margin with 14 ticks left. Michelle Gabriel's desperation 3-pointer bounced off the backboard on the final play of the game.

Atuaia led UH with 13 points, while Natasja Allen finished with 12. Christen Roper added nine points and 10 rebounds in the loss. The Rainbow Wahine, who missed their first 10 shots of the game, shot just 28 percent from the floor, while Tulsa, just 29 percent.

Hawaii next returns home where they will face nationally-ranked and conference leader Louisiana Tech on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center


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