Wahine Basketball: Hawaii drills Broncos, 79-48

The Wahine pick up their first road win of the season in impressive fashion.

BOISE, Idaho--Hawaii won its first road game of the season in convincing fashion with a 79-48 thumping of Boise State Thursday night at The Pavilion. The Rainbow Wahine (14-2) took out their road frustrations on the Broncos with one of their best performances of the year and climbed its way up the conference standings.

The Rainbow Wahine, who had lost their first seven away from home, improved to 8-9 in the WAC and moved into a tie for fourth place with Tulsa and San Jose State. SMU is a half game behind in seventh place. A Hawaii win at UTEP would guarantee UH a spot in the top six as they would avoid the play-in game, relegated to the bottom four conference finishers in next week's WAC Tournament.

UH took over early in the game and never let up. The Rainbow Wahine played their best half of the season with crisp execution on offense and relentless pressure on defense. UH shot 63 percent in the first frame, while holding Boise State to just 27 percent.

The Broncos got off to a 7-4 lead four minutes into the game, but from there it was all Rainbow Wahine. UH limited Boise State (9-18, 6-11) to just one basket in the next 12 minutes. Meanwhile, UH could do no a wrong on the offensive end, outscoring the Broncos 26-2 during the span. By the half Hawaii extended its lead to 40-15.

Eight different players got on the board for UH in the first frame, led by Christen Roper with 12. Roper, who scored just six points in the last three games, finished with a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds. Roper used her superior size advantage to convert 8-of-10 shots and record her 11th career double-double.

The Rainbow Wahine kept up the intensity in the second half and built its lead to as many as 35 points. UH's five true freshman played the final 2:50 of the game, while 11 of UH's 12 players got on the scoreboard. Kim Willoughby (11), April Atuaia (10) and Michelle Gabriel (10) finished in double-digits as Hawaii tied its season high with 79 points. Jade Abele posted 11 assists, one shy of the school record.

UH travels to UTEP for its regular season road finale on Saturday. Tipoff versus the Miners is set for 7:05 p.m. MST.

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