Seasiders fall to Cougars in exhibition

Seasiders fall to Cougars in exhibition

LAIE, Hawaii – Junior point guard Celeste Claw led the BYU-Hawaii women's basketball with 18 points, but the Seasiders fell to sister-school BYU 72-53 in an exhibition on Thursday in the Cannon Activities Center.

"We didn't shoot the ball as well as we would've liked," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "Part of that is their defense and athleticism, but we still missed some shots we normally hit. Overall I thought our intensity and attitude was good. It was a good game for us to learn from and develop going forward to conference."

In addition to leading BYU-Hawaii (2-1) in points, Claw led her team with six assists, six rebounds and two steals. Senior shooting guard Brydgette Tatupu-Leopold added 11 points and junior center Emily Nelson had 10 for the Seasiders.

BYU (3-2) used their size advantage to outscore BYU-Hawaii 28-10 in the paint and outrebound the Seasiders by 15. BYU-Hawaii did most of their damage from the outside hitting 39 percent of their 3-point attempts.

BYU started out the game with a 12-2 run powered by six points from Makenzie Morrison. They continued to flex their muscle with another 6-0 run to extend their lead to 18-4 with 14 minutes left in the half. Celeste Claw hit a 3-pointer to aid the Seasiders in a 7-3 run that brought the Cougars lead back to 10 at 21-11.

BYU's Micalee Orton and Lexi Eaton led an 11-1 with four points each to put the Cougars up 35-14 with seven minutes remaining in the half. Tatupu-Leopoldo hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead back under 20 points, but Eaton answered quickly with a 3-pointer on the other side of the court.

The teams traded points the rest of the way as the Cougars took a 45-25 lead into the break.

BYU slowly pulled away in the second half building a 27-point lead at 60-33 with 11 minutes remaining. Celeste Claw scored five points for the Seasiders during a 7-2 run to make it 62-40 in favor of the Cougars with 5:39 left. BYU-Hawaii would pull back within 20 once, but two free-throws in the closing seconds gave BYU the 21 point victory.

The Seasiders will be back in action on Saturday at 3 p.m. HST to take on Butler in the Cannon Activities Center. Live video and stats will be available online.

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