The Rainbow Wahine basketball team enters the hunt for their first win ( News Hawaii )

24 Nov – Another challenging career offers the opportunity for short-term profit and long lessons.

Another challenging career offers an opportunity for short-term gains and long-term lessons.

Still looking for the No. 1 win of the season, the University of Hawaii women’s basketball team begins a three-game, three-day stretch on Friday in the Wahine Shootout, which ends with a matchup against No. 2 teams in the country in Sunday.

On the road, the host team will look to build on the growing pains of last week’s Bank of Hawaii Classic as they continue to work toward a Big West title defense.

UH (0-4) opens the three-day tournament against Grambling State (1-4) on Friday and faces Florida Gulf Coast (4-0) for the second time in eight days on Saturday. Wahine at 2 Stanford last Sunday. UH is scheduled to play at 2:30 pm for three days.

“I want our team to compete,” UH coach Laura Beeman said of the outlook for the weekend. “I want our team to execute, by the time we get into the conference, we’re ready to win conference games. That’s really what it’s all about.”

The UH coaching staff will also be focusing on early season tournaments with an eye on March 1 and preparing for a run in the Big West tournament.

“That’s one of the reasons we’ve always had the Classic and this tournament,” Beeman said. “So we’re going to use this as something as we move forward and get into the big Western Conference tournament. To say, ‘Hey, we’ve been here before.’ We’ve done this back-to-back-to-back and we know that taking care of our bodies and minds and preparing our next opponents is a completely different approach and it’s going to be successful.”

In the near term, the Wahine are looking for a breakthrough in a 20-point upset at Florida Gulf Coast next Friday and an overtime loss against Lipscomb in last weekend’s Bank of Hawaii Classic to slip to 0-4 for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

FGCU held off the Wahine from the 3-point line in a 65-45 win and went on to claim the tournament title. The Wahine led for most of the first against Lipscomb, an eighth-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime, but another comeback bid fell short in the extra five minutes.

“Consistency is important when you’re doing something,” Beeman said. “We’re not consistently on either side of the ball,” I was proud of the girls for the way they went down eight. … I like fighting, I like effort, I like energy. We have to start doing better.”

UH guard Olivia Davies missed the last three games with an undiagnosed illness and guard Ashley Thoms was out for just the fourth quarter and OT against Lipscomb.

Guard Daejah Phillips leads UH with 14.3 points per game, followed by Lily Wahinekapu at 11.5. Wahinekapu scored a season-high 18 points against Lipscomb, while Phillips bounced back from foul trouble to spark fourth-quarter relief and finished with 12.

Grambling State earned its first win of the season against New Orleans last Friday, then lost to San Diego State 66-41 on Tuesday in a trip to Hawaii.

Florida Gulf Coast beat Stanford on Friday after going 2-0 to start its 11-day stay in Oahu. Eagles guard Tishara Morehouse was named the ASUN Player of the Week after averaging 16 points in the win over UH and San Diego.

Tara VanDerveer, the winningest coach in women’s college basketball history at 1,162-260, once again has Stanford in the nation’s spotlight. The Cardinal averaged 91 points while 44.4 in their first five games — an 87-47 win over Portland, which beat UH in the season opener — before dropping to No. 1 South Carolina 76-71 in overtime on Sunday.

The Cardinals return nine players from last season’s Final Four team and are led by 6-foot-4 forward Cameron Brink’s 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game. All-America guard Haley Jones is averaging nine points and 6.2 boards with 25 assists. Senior guard Hanna Jump is 22-for-40 from 3-point range.

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