Hawaii pounded the post to rally from an eight-point, halftime deficit and hand UCSB its sixth-straight women’s basketball defeat, 72-62, at the Thunderdome Friday night.
The Rainbow Wahine, which missed 11 of 12 shots in the second quarter, scored 18 points in the paint during the third quarter and 25 total to surge to its victory.
Hawaii (5-5, 4-4 Big West Conference) jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the first five minutes. But San Jose State transfer Megan Anderson, who had played only six minutes since making her Gaucho debut two games ago, scored seven points during a 57-second outburst to rally UCSB to within 15-12.
Anderson finished with 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting which included 2-for-4 from three-point range. The rest of the Gauchos, however, made only 4-of-25 from three and shot just 35.4% overall (23-for-65).
Taylor Mole led UCSB with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Doris Jones added 10 points and five rebounds while Danae Miller handed out five assists.
UCSB (2-12, 2-8) outscored Hawaii 17-3 during the second quarter to take a 35-27 lead into halftime.
The Rainbow Wahine, however, dominated the Gauchos inside during the third quarter, out-rebounding them 12-6 (47-30 for the game) while scoring their 18 paint points.
Kasey Neubert, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, produced a double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds. Freshman Daejah Phillips also scored 19 points, making 8-of-11 shots including 3-of-4 from three. Hawaii shot 45% overall and made 6-of-13 shots from three (46.2%).
The Rainbow Wahine scored the first 10 points of the third quarter. UCSB finally scored at the midway point of the period on a fast-break layup by Jones, tying the game at 37-all
A three by Anderson got the Gauchos within 40-39 with 4:25 left in the third quarter.
But Hawaii extended its lead to eight, 62-54, with 6:39 to go. A three by Jones and a running bank shot by Mole, rallied UCSB to within 64-59.
Miller drew a charging call against the Rainbow Wahine and cashed it in with a three to give the Gauchos a chance at 67-62 with 1:42 remaining.
They missed their last four three-point attempts, however, and Hawaii made 5-of-6 free throws to pull away to its final margin of 10 points.
The two teams will return to the Thunderdome for a 5 p.m. game tonight.