LAIE, Hawaii – A layup in the final seconds by Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo gave BYU-Hawaii women's basketball the 70-69 victory over Oakland City on Monday in the Cannon Activities Center.
"It's always scary to play a team again that you beat handily," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "They did a good job coming after us and attacking us. They were the ones that wanted it more and it took us a while to wake up. We executed well and showed resilience as we clawed our way back. We had several of our girls step up and that's what ultimately won us the game."
Tatupu-Leopoldo led all players with 20 points on the night, 14 of them from behind the arch. Whitney Fieldsted followed her with 17 points on 64 percent shooting. Celeste Claw recorded her first double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 assists on the night.
With 47 seconds to play, the Oaks led by one and had possession of the ball, but Fieldsted was able to establish position and draw the charge to give the Seasiders the ball with the shot clock turned off. Fieldsted then found Tatupu-Leopoldo cutting to the hoop and she laid it in off the glass to cap an eight-point run and BYU-Hawaii the victory.
Oakland City jumped to an early lead with three shots from downtown to take a 9-2 lead. The Seasiders found themselves in a bind with five minutes left in the first half and the scoreboard showing 34-10 in favor of the Oaks. A tip-in and jump shot from Taryn Skahill highlighted a 10-2 run to cut the Oaks lead to 16. After Oakland City extended their lead back to 20, six consecutive points by Claw ended the first half with the Seasiders trailing the Oaks 40-26.
A 12-0 run led by five points from Fieldsted early in the second half helped BYU-Hawaii cut the lead to two at 44-42 with 15 minutes left in the game.
Tatupu-Leopoldo gave the Seasiders the lead for the first time in the game as a 3-pointer from way behind the arch made it 47-46 game. The Oaks were able to regain the lead, but for the next few possession both teams battled for control as the lead changed several times with every made shot.
Claw found Tatupu-Leopoldo as she quickly laid it off the glass to tie the game at 60-60. With two minutes left, the Oaks lead the Seasiders 69-62 and BYU-Hawaii took a timeout to rally its troops. A layup by Claw, two free-throws by Tatupu-Leopoldo and a Fieldsted jumper set up the late heroics for the Seasiders.
BYU-Hawaii returns to action with an exhibition against sister-school BYU at 1 p.m. HST on Thursday. Live stats and video will be available online.