LAIE, Hawaii – BYU-Hawaii women's basketball saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end in a 68-46 loss to Azusa Pacific on Thursday in the Cannon Activities Center.
"We knew we were going to face a tough opponent in Azusa," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "They play well and are disciplined and we certainly didn't come out with the same focus and energy that got us the last seven wins. We will refocus on the things we do, which are dominating the rebound and not getting out of character going into Saturday's game against Cal Baptist."
Azusa Pacific won the tip-off and immediately went on a 6-0 run to take a lead they would not relinquish the entire game. Back-to-back shots from Tatupu-Leopoldo and Fieldsted closed the gap to two and the teams began to trade points.
The Seasiders eventually evened the game at 17-17 with a three-pointer from Celeste Claw, but the Cougars answered with another 6-0 run on back-to-back 3-pointers to stay ahead with 11:13 remaining in the first half.
A free throw from Claw closed the gap to 35-31 going into halftime, as the Seasiders displayed tremendous defensive skill to stop the oncoming Cougar attack with the clock winding down.
Claw led the Seasiders with eight points shooting perfectly from the field and from behind the arc in the first half. Kelly Hardeman scored 21 of the Cougars 35 points in the first half, but sat late with foul trouble. As a team, the Seasiders shot 55 percent from the floor and outrebounded Azusa Pacific by one and scored more points off the bench.
Azusa Pacific went on an 11-2 run to start the second half with a single shot from Mata Tonga for the Seasiders, as the Seasiders trailed by 13 with 16:11 remaining.
The Cougars were able to amass small runs, despite being interrupted by shots from Tonga, Claw and Tatupu-Leopoldo making it a 66-44 game with 3:09 remaining.
Two shots from the charity line from Jiashan Cui ended the game with Azusa Pacific on top as the scoreboard showed 68-46 by the final buzzer.
BYU-Hawaii returns to action on Saturday at 5 p.m. HST against Cal. Baptist in the CAC. Live stats and video will be available online.