Gauchos Drop Regular Season Finale at Hawai’i

Makala Roper (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Makala Roper (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

HONOLULU, Hawai'i – In the regular season finale, the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team dropped a 73-64 contest against Hawai'i at the Stan Sheriff Center on Thursday night.

With the loss, the Gauchos will finish Big West action 9-7 for the second straight season and currently sit as the No. 4 seed for next week's Big West Tournament, while every other team in the conference has one game left on Saturday. Multiple scenarios are still in play, but with a CSUN victory over Long Beach State this weekend, UCSB would drop to the No. 5 seed. Last season, UCSB advanced to the tournament final as the No. 4 seed. Hawai'i, meanwhile, improves to 12-16 overall and sits in a three-way tie for sixth with a 5-10 conference record.

The Gauchos got off to a strong start with 22 points in the first quarter on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, including a 4-for-4 display from downtown. Three of those came from Makala Roper, who had nine of her 10 points in the first quarter alone.

UCSB cooled off considerably in the second quarter, and Hawai'i continued to struggle from the field as the Gauchos took a 32-26 lead into the break.

In the second half, however, it was all Rainbow Wahine, as Hawai'i shot 56 percent from the field (15-for-27) and outscored UCSB 47-32.

The Gauchos went 12-for-30 (40 percent) in the second half and were led by Sarah Porter's 17 points off the bench. Drew Edelman finished with 15 points and five boards and Roper was the only other Gaucho in double-figures with 10.

Hawai'i was led by a game-high 27 points from Makenna Woodfolk and 20 points and eight rebounds from Sarah Toeaina.

Depending on the final seeding, UCSB will either play this Tuesday, Mar. 6 or Wednesday, Mar. 7 at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym. The semifinals and finals will be held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on Friday, Mar. 9 and Saturday, Mar. 10.