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COLLEGE ROUNDUP : Top-Seeded Hawaii Edges UC Irvine

March 10, 1994|MIKE REILLEY

UC Irvine's bid to upset Hawaii in the quarterfinals of the Big West women's basketball tournament fell short in the final seconds and the Rainbows held on for an 85-82 victory at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

A turnover by Tamera Thomas with 27 seconds left and missed three-pointers by Michelle Kahler and Karie Yoshioka down the stretch cost the ninth-seeded Anteaters a shot a upsetting top-seeded Hawaii (24-3).

The Anteaters (5-23) had two shots at tying it, but Kahler's three-pointer rattled in and out of the rim with five seconds left, and Yoshioka's three-pointer bounced off the rim with one second remaining.

Irvine had the ball and trailed, 82-80, with 27 seconds left, but Thomas passed the ball straight to Hawaii's Nani Crockett, who was fouled and hit both free throws to put the Rainbows ahead, 84-80.

"It's unfortunate that Tamera made that one pass," Irvine Coach Colleen Matsuhara said, "but I told her after the game that it didn't come down to just that one play.

"It's a shame that it came down to whether or not we put in a couple of three-pointers at the end."

Forward Jinelle Williams, a former Brea-Olinda High standout, led Irvine with 25 points, and Yoshioka added 15.

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