It was “Think Pink Night” at the Bren Event Center on Thursday night, where the Lady Anteaters hosted the Rainbow Wahine. The Anteaters faced a crushing loss at the buzzer against Hawai’i on Thursday night, falling 55-54 as Camille Buckley notched her 12th double-double of the season.
Coming off of a recent 87-75 loss at UC Riverside, the Lady Anteaters paired up against third place Hawai’i in hopes to defend the Bren. Prior to the game, UCI’s record was 7-1 in their own stadium, but now they drop to two losses at home and are overall tied for sixth place in the Big West with UC Davis.
The game started with senior Camille Buckley winning the tip off and Jasmine Bernard scoring the first two points for UCI. As the first half carried on, the ’Eaters found themselves five points down to Hawai’i with 3:44 left in the first half, but the Lady Anteaters quickly regained the lead 27-26 with Morgan Mason, Jasmine Bernard and Vanessa Aguilar scoring three jumpers in succession.
As the half came to an end, Mason scored a jumper with five seconds left, giving Hawai’i a 28-27 lead going into the half. Overall, the ’Eaters finished the first half with fifteen total rebounds, and shooting 40 percent from both the field.
As the second half of the game started, the Lady Anteaters played catch-up as they found themselves down 34-47 with 10:35 left in the game.
Things started to turn around as senior Kelly Meggs scored her second three-pointer of the game and gave UCI the momentum to eventually take the lead against Hawai’i 52-53 as Meggs scored her third three-pointer with a little over two minutes left of the game. Hawai’i quickly answered as Shawna-Lei Kuehu scored with a jumper to put the Rainbow Wahine back in the lead. UCI responded with Vanessa Aguilar scoring two free throws to put the ’Eaters back in the lead 54-53.
The game ended with Hawai’i’s Kuehu missing a jumper with six left of the game, and Mason of Hawai’i getting the offensive rebound and scoring with a jumper at the buzzer, leaving the final score of the game 54-55 in Hawai’i’s favor.
Overall, the Anteaters should be proud of their effort, despite falling short.
Outstandingly, Camille Buckley concluded the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Senior Vanessa Aguilar and Kelly Meggs both scored three three-pointers in the contest.
This is not the ’Eaters first loss to Hawai’i this season as they also fell 59-85 in Hawai’i on the 25th of January.
“Hawai’i is a big team,” Camille Buckley said, feeling they were outscored due the size of Hawai’i’s players with UCI having only one player over six feet in comparison to Hawai’i having three players reaching over six feet. Luckily, there is a silver lining to this game as Head Coach Doug Oliver stated, “We sort of matched one of the better teams in the conference, so if there is any positive that comes from it, we can play with anyone in the conference on any given night in any style of play.”
The Lady Anteaters proved this to be true as they were able to defeat first-place Cal State Northridge on Saturday by shooting at 46.4 percent from the field.
Camille Buckley was able to lock in her 13th double-double of the season and Jennifer Tsurumoto collected 14 points overall.
The Lady Anteaters will be traveling next week to face-off against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly.