Wahine playing for playoff positioning

  • Photo courtesy of the University of Hawai’i Sports information Dept.

    The University of Hawai’i women’s basketball player Kasey Neubert (21) attempts a free throw in last Saturday’s series against Long Beach State.

MANOA — The University of Hawai‘i women’s basketball team will head into the Big West regular-season finale against UC Davis trying to solidify fourth place in the conference.

The Wahine currently stands in fourth place, but they will need to win both games against UC Davis to hold onto that position.

This won’t be an easy task for Hawai’i when they play the Aggies, a team that is a perfect 8-0 in the conference.

UC Davis has secured the No. 1 seed headed into the Hawai’i Tourism Authority Big West Conference Tournament at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas March 9-13.

Hawai‘i’s offense is predicated on two players, and their recent performances have positioned the Wahine to have a top-4 seed headed into the Big West tournament.

Hawai‘i executed two closely contested victories over Long Beach State 77-75 and 76-73 that allowed them to make these two games against UC Davis relevant.

One main reason UC Davis is successful is they have so many players who are significant contributors on offense.

Cierra Hall is leading the Aggies with 13.8 points per contest, and she gets lots of help from her teammates.

Evanne Turner is averaging 11.5 points, Sage Stobbart has 10.7 and Kayla Konrad is averaging 10.2 points per game.

Mackenzie Trpcic is also adding 9.7 points per game.

The notable contributions the team gets from everyone makes them difficult for any team in the Big West to match up against.

This could be an important reason they have a chance to do some damage in the upcoming NCAA Division I tournament.

Hawai‘i will have to contain these four without sacrificing too many of their reserves and limiting their fouls.

Even splitting the series with UC Davis could be very helpful to Hawai’i when they are positioning themselves for seeding in the tournament.

In the hypothetical scenario, if Hawai‘i was to hold onto a top-five seed, they would likely play a lower seed in the tournament, meaning they will face a team that is in the lower bracket of their conference and would increase their opportunity to advance in the tournament.

Hawai‘i is averaging 63.9 points per contest.

The top five contributors on UC Davis’s roster are currently average 44 points per game by themselves, which means Hawai‘i will have to increase their offensive production to win the game.

Through rebounding, the Wahine will have to also limit second-chance opportunities to keep the top five contributors for the Aggies in lower numbers and to control the tempo of the game.

In the worst-case scenario, if the Wahine gets swept, they will fall to the sixth seed entering the BWC tournament in a week.

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