LAIE, Hawaii – Whitney Fieldsted recorded her fourth-consecutive double-double to lead BYU-Hawaii women's basketball in a 76-66 victory over rival Dixie State on Thursday in the Canon Activities Center.
Fieldsted finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds in her sixth double-double of the season. Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo led all scorers with 23 points, her fourth-consecutive game with 20-plus points.
With only seconds left in the first half and BYU-Hawaii trailing by two, Celeste Claw found an open Marquessa Gilson who effortlessly drained a bucket from behind the arc to give the Seasiders the 40-39 lead going into the break and take control of a back and forth contest.
After Dixie State led early, Tatupu-Leopoldo powered an 11-3 run with seven points and two steals to give the Seasiders the 11-5 lead.
The teams battled for points as the Red Storm slowly regained the advantage, but a deep 3-pointer from Tatupu-Leopoldo put BYU-Hawaii back in the lead at 21-23 with 9:19 to remaining in the half.
The lead changed with every made shot as both teams tried to find each other's weak points. With 2:20 remaining in the half, Fieldsted entered the game and quickly put in back-to-back jumpers for the Seasiders to give them the 35-32 lead.
Fieldsted led all players at halftime with 14 points and added five rebounds and three steals. Tatupu-Leopoldo scored 10 points to go with two steals, one block and one assist
After a tie at 47-47 and 50-50, the Red Storm used a couple of defensive stops to take the 54-51 lead after a jump shot and a layup with 13:49 remaining in the second half.
BYU-Hawaii and Dixie State tied twice more, but five consecutive points by Claw gave the Seasiders the advantage with 6:43 remaining and ignited an eight-point run as three shots by Gilson from the charity line found their way to the bottom of the hoop to make it a 65-57 game.
At 4:18, two more free-throws from Gilson gave the Seasiders their biggest lead of the game to the point at 68-59 in favor of BYU-Hawaii, but the Red Storm used a six-point run to make it a one possession game with three minutes remaining.
Tatupu-Leopoldo answered with a personal 5-0 run to put the Seasiders ahead by eight. It was all the room BYU-Hawaii needed as they sealed the victory from the free-throw line.
Seasiders return to the court on Saturday at 5 p.m. HST against Notre Dame de Namur in the Canon Activities Center. Live stats and video will be available online.