UC SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team surrendered an eight-point halftime lead in the second half of its matchup with the Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine, losing 72-62 on Friday night at the Thunderdome.
Kasey Neubert and Daejah Phillips posted 19 apiece for Hawai'i (5-5, 4-4 Big West) in the victory, while the Gauchos (2-12, 2-8 Big West) were led by junior forward/guard Taylor Mole with 14 points and 10 rebounds, her third consecutive double-double, in just under 34 minutes of action.
Hawai'i scored all five of the opening points through Amy Atwell, who found twine on a turnaround jumper and a triple off a turnover. The Gauchos evened the score quickly thereafter thanks to a jumper by senior point guard Danae Miller and a three-point play by Mole.
From then on, however, it was all Rainbow Wahine in the first quarter. Jadynn Alexander scored the next four points and Neubert added a pair off a layup to give the visitors an 11-5 lead and force a UCSB timeout at the five-minute mark. On the return from the break, Hawai'i maintained that lead through to the end of the period.
In the second, the tide turned in favor of the Gauchos. Redshirt senior guard Doris Jones scored on either side of a jumper from junior guard Lauren Lee to tie things up at 24-all before the Rainbow Wahine scored their first points of the frame at the 6:25 mark on a Neubert layup.
Her make would be the only points that Hawai'i would manage for nearly six whole minutes, as the Gauchos claimed the lead for the first time on the night and built up an eight-point lead at the half, having outscored the Rainbow Wahine 17-3 over the previous 10 minutes.
In the third quarter, the momentum shifted yet again as Hawai'i shut out the Gauchos for nearly five minutes, tying the game up on an Olivia Davies three-pointer and taking the lead on a Neubert jumper that capped off a 10-0 run.
The game remained a one-possession contest until the Rainbow Wahine went on an 8-0 run over a two-minute span from the last minute of the third quarter to the first minute of the fourth, with Neubert and Phillips' jumpers comprising the back half of the run that gave Hawai'I a 56-49 lead with 9:02 left in regulation.
Mole and the Gauchos battled to keep it close, pulling within five on four separate occasions, the last of which came thanks to Miller's three-point basket with 1:44 remaining the closed the gap to 67-62.
Hawai'i missed on the next possession, but so did the Gauchos on their next attempt, allowing the Rainbow Wahine to run out the clock and run up the score with trips to the free throw line as they closed out the victory in what was their fourth consecutive road game.
The Gauchos return to action tomorrow night against the Rainbow Wahine, with the action set to begin at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and live stats will be available on UCSBGauchos.com.
Article courtesy of UCSB Athletics