LAIE, Hawaii – Junior point guard Celeste Claw led BYU-Hawaii women's basketball to a 94-63 win over Oakland City on Saturday afternoon in the Cannon Activities Center.
"It was a good energy game for us," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "It was a game that we felt we needed to work hard to establish our rules and take care of ourselves and I think we did a good job of that."
Claw led all players with 23 points on the night shooting 9 for 12 from inside the arch and 5 for 8 from downtown while recording four steals and eight assists. Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo followed Claw with 28 points shooting 60 percent from behind the arc and recording seven assists.
"I was pleased with the performance from Celeste and Brydgette and their ability to pass the ball and play together," Stanger said. "It was a good team win and a good team effort. We did a lot of the little things well to do what we needed to do to win."
The 31 point win was the fifth largest differential in Seasider team history and the 94 points were the fourth most scored by a BYU-Hawaii women's basketball team. As a team, BYU-Hawaii shot 52.7 percent of their field goals, 58.3 percent of their 3-pointers and held Oakland City to 32.3 percent and 34.6 percent, respectively. The Seasiders outrebounded the Oaks by 37.
The Seasiders dominated early with two three-point jump shots from Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo, one from Celeste Claw, a tip-in by Emily Nielson and a jump shot from Mata Tonga gave the Seasiders a 13-3 lead. After the Oaks cut the lead to four, back-to-back 3-pointers from Megan Goodman kept the Seasiders ahead by eight with nine minutes remaining in the half.
The second three-pointer from Goodman sparked a 13-point run as Tatupu-Leopoldo and Claw followed it up with 3-pointers of their own and two jump shots from Whitney Fieldsted to double the Oaks score 36-18. With 4:07 remaining, Oakland City burned a timeout to recoup after back-to-back jump shots by Fieldsted made it a 43-23 game. The Seasiders ended the first half up 50-33 with shots from Devyn Kauhi, Claw and Makana Borden.
A jump shot by Claw in the second half once again extended the BYU-Hawaii lead to twenty as the two-pointer made it a 57-37 game. The second half was never in doubt as the closest Oakland City would be over the final 10 minutes was 83-59 with four minutes remaining in the game. A layup by Kirsten Nelson with 26 seconds left gave BYU-Hawaii its largest lead of the game at 31 points lead and ended the game 94-63 in favor of the Seasiders.
BYU-Hawaii faces Oakland City again on Monday in the CAC at 5 p.m. HST. Live stats will be available online.