AZUSA, Calif. – Emily Nelson's big night was not enough as BYU-Hawaii women's basketball fell to Azusa Pacific 59-46 on Thursday in the Felix Events Center.
Nelson was just shy of a double-double scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Celeste Claw nearly recorded a triple-double scoring 10 points to go with seven rebounds and eight assists.
BYU-Hawaii (12-9, 9-6 PacWest) held Azusa Pacific (15-8, 11-5 PacWest) to 30 percent shooting from the field, but could only manage to connect on 26.9 percent of its shots.
Azusa Pacific found their groove early going on a 10-0 run to take a 14-3 lead in the game's opening minutes and never looked back.
With five minutes left in the first half, the Seasiders were able to cut the Cougar lead to seven at 23-16 after a 3-pointer from Gilson and buckets from Claw, Brydgette Tatupu, Megan Goodman and Mata Tonga.
Azusa Pacific found themselves in some foul trouble from which the Seasiders had no trouble capitalizing as they took a small 5-0 run just from the charity line to make it a 21-25 game with two minutes left in the half.
Azusa Pacific was able to hold off the BYU-Hawaii surge and hold a 29-23 lead at the break. Gilson led the Seasdiers with 9 points making two of three shots from behind the arc and added one rebound.
The Seasiders came out firing on all cylinders as they slowly began to catch up to the Cougars with a big three-pointer from Claw and baskets from Nelson and Gilson to make it a 37-34 game with 11:28 on the clock.
Azusa Pacific answered with a 14-0 run to break open a four-point game and take a 55-37 lead with 3:40 remaining. Neither team was able to do much in the final minutes as the Cougars took home the victory.
The Seasiders return to action Saturday at Point Loma at 2:00 p.m. PST. Live stats will be available online.