HONOLULU – Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo led all scorers, but BYU-Hawaii fell to Wingate 65-46 on Thursday morning's game at St. Francis School.
"Despite losing, I thought we did a good defensively throughout the game," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "We just need to clean some things offensively, but the attitudes of our players are still good and the work ethic is still there, so we will be ok."
Tatupu-Leopoldo scored 22 points, 15 of them from behind the arc and added three rebounds. Whitney Fieldsted demonstrated a strong defense leading the team again with nine rebounds, two steals and one block.
Within the first six minutes of the game there were five lead changes as both teams struggled to gain an advantage. At 11:17 the Bulldog's (6-6, 3-1 SAC) had built a five-point lead, but it was cut down to two after a 3-pointer from Tatupu-Leopoldo found its way in.
A layup from Fieldsted moments later gave the Seasiders (3-4, 1-1 PacWest) the 17-16 lead. With one minute remaining Wingate had retaken the lead, but Devyn Kauhi nailed a jumper with six seconds on the clock to send BYU-Hawaii into the break with the game tied 25-25.
Tatupu-Leopoldo lead all scorers with 14 points at the end of the first, six of which came from downtown.
A six point run by Wingate early in the second half was answered by a solo five-point run from Tatupu-Leopodo. Despite shots from Makana Borden, Celeste Claw and Tatupu-Leopoldo, the Bulldogs were able to extend their lead over BYU-Hawaii to 53-37 with 4:49 remaining. Wingate was able to continue their momentum and cruise to victory making it a 65-46 game.
BYU-Hawaii returns to the court against Hawaii Hilo on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. HST at the Hilo Civic Center. Live stats will be available online.