Olivia Davies of Wasilla was nervous as she took the court in preparation for her first start with the University of Hawaii and it showed.
“I shot terrible in warmups,” she said with laugh in a postgame TV interview, “so it was kind of like, ‘We’re going to go with it and hope it goes good.’”
She was better than good.
Davies was great as she delivered a breakout performance with a career-high 17 points to power Hawaii to a 49-47 victory over Cal State Fullerton in the Big Sky Conference.
The 5-foot-9 freshman drained 7-of-11 shots from the field and scored from the perimeter to the post.
She made her first 3-point attempt and followed that up with a hard-drive layup where she put her head down and beat her defender toff the dribble, showing off the skills that made her an all-state player in Alaska.
This was just the third college game for Davies, who missed all of last year with a season-ending ACL injury.
“Now you guys know why we were so sad and just heartbroken last year when she went down,” said Hawaii coach Laura Beeman. “We knew what kind of player she was, what kind of offensive threat she was.”
Davies, of Wasilla High fame, wears a sleeve on her leg and admitted to still feeling some hesitancy to go full-bore, even though she has been given the green light.
“Even in practice I’ve been cautious,” she said. “My coaches and trainers are like, ‘Liv, you’re fine. Go for it.’”
She finally let loose against Cal State Fullerton and it led to Hawaii posted its first Big Sky Conference victory this season.