Sports

WNIT Extends Season for Former BIIF Standouts

March 18, 2014, 2:08 PM HST
* Updated March 18, 2:10 PM
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It isn’t the NCAA tournament, but it’s the next best thing.

Three former Big Island Interscholastic Federation girls basketball players will continue their 2013-2014 college basketball season when the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, also known as the WNIT, tips off Wednesday.

Konawaena graduates Lia Galdeira and Dawnyelle Awa, now sophomores at Washington State University, will open the WNIT with a road game at Montana Wednesday. Tip is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Hawaii time.

The Cougars reached the semifinals of the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament before falling to Oregon State by the score of 70-60. During the tournament, Washington State upset nationally ranked California, who is seeded seventh in the Notre Dame region of the Women’s NCAA tournament.

Washington State enters the WNIT with a 17-16 record.

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Ka`u High alum Pua Kailiawa, now a senior at the University of Hawai`i, will have at least one more game in her college career when the Rainbow Wahine visit Washington Friday. Tip is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. Hawai`i time and will be aired on ESPNHawaii.com.

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Hawai`i is 3-3 all time against the Huskies and have not traveled to Seattle since 1980. The Rainbow Wahine enter the WNIT after losing to Cal Poly in the Big West semifinals last Friday.

“I think we ended on a better note (this year) even though we lost,” said Kailiawa. “We got farther into the tournament, so now, we’re kinda like, ready. We want to win and see where this thing goes.”

This is the second consecutive WNIT appearance for Hawai`i. Last season, San Diego beat Hawai`i in the opening round by the score of 61-49.

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Hawai`i, under second year head coach Laura Beeman, holds a 17-13 record entering Friday’s contest.

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