NZ South vs Hawai’i Report

The NZ Premiere South Women faced the University of Hawai’i at Cowles Stadium, Christchurch on Sunday 12 August 2018

The touring University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine women’s basketball team was made to work extra hard before beating a NZ Premiere South team, made up of players from Canterbury, North Canterbury and Otago. The Rainbow Wahine held off a strong second half challenge from the South to win the entertaining encounter 54-49 in Cowles Stadium Sunday evening. Three Otago players in the South side had plenty of work to do with Soraya Umaga-Jensen, Danielle Frost and Natalie Smith making good use of their court time.

NZ South struggled from the field in the first quarter, while the visitors settled quickly, opening up a 18-8 first quarter lead before the southern team started to gel together.

Soraya Umaga Jensen started the second quarter sinking a quick three, later on followed by an open layup from Tessa Morrison to reduce the deficit to 5-points. But by half-time the NZ Premiere team struggled to even up the score, with Lahni Salanoa hitting a three at the end of the second quarter giving University of Hawai’i the lead 27-19.

In the third quarter both teams struggled from the field at the start, but eventually found some rhythm with the teams trading buckets. Charlotte Whittaker had a nervous first half but stepped up to claim some loose ball and rebounded stronger in the second half. But with Hawai’i having such a squad of 14 players, they capitalized scoring 24 off the bench to South’s 14, generating the biggest lead of the game at 14 points. Near the end of the third quarter Helen Matthews scored 6 points bringing NZ Premiere back into the game 40-34, Hawai’i still leading.

As the South team were desperate to close the gap in the fourth, Whittaker and Tessa Boagni started the quarter strongly, with both getting and converting and-1 layups, bringing the game 44-40. Former Tall fern, Shea Crotty produced two mighty steals (she seven total in the game) while NZ Junior Helen Mathews (Kaiapoi High) penetrated the Hawai’i defense at every opportunity. Canterbury Wildcat Connie Poletti, fresh from the U23 nationals, struggled to find gaps in the Hawai’i defense, but never gave up trying as she.  With 1:10 left on the clock, NZ Premier start a late comeback, with Whittaker nailing both free throws making the score 51-47. But with two personal fouls from the NZ Premier side, Hawai’i were able to see out the game.

Tessa Boagni, Helen Mathews and Charlotte Whittaker combined for 29 points. However, it was not enough as Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine punished the NZ Premiere turnovers, outscoring them here 27-6 points was a key factor.

Result and scorers were:

University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine 54 (Makenna Woodfolk 9PTS, 10REB) NZ Premiere South 49 (Tessa Boagni 10PTS, 9REB; Helen Mathews 10PTS; Charlotte Whittaker 9PTS, 9REB). HT: 27-19. Full Box Score can be seen here

Watch the full game here:

We're Live! Hawai'i vs New Zealand Premiere South!

Posted by New Zealand International Basketball Tours on Saturday, 11 August 2018

Written by Bruce Martin and Joeman Chan. Photos courtesy University of Hawai’i and NZIBT

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