LAIE, Hawaii – Celeste Claw led BYU-Hawaii women's basketball one step closer to a PacWest Championship Tournament berth with a 84-73 victory over Holy Names on Monday at the Cannon Activities Center.
"We did a really good job of rebounding, which has been a point of emphasis for us throughout the season," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "We played together tonight, which resulted in good execution and we were able to get our shooters on track. We need to improve on our turnovers going forward and that will make us very competitive against future teams."
Claw led four Seasiders (14-11, 11-8 PacWest) with 19 points to go with six assists and five Rebounds. Whitney Fieldsted added a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds, her eighth of the season. Jiashan Cui had her best game of the season with 16 points, while Marquessa Gilson added 12.
BYU-Hawaii shot 48.4 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from 3-point range. The Seasiders also outrebounded the Hawks (2-24, 1-17 PacWest) by 35 and had eight more assists. With a Hawaii Pacific win over Dominican on Tuesday, BYU-Hawaii will clinch its spot in the postseason conference tournament.
The teams started the game by feeling out each other's weak spots, but the Seasiders wasted no time in gaining an advantage as they jumped to a 10-6 lead with the clock showing 15:31.
Claw hit a shot well behind the arc to give BYU-Hawaii a double-digit lead for the first time at 26-14 to cap an 11-2 run with 9:28 remaining in the half.
Kjirsten Nelson continued her strong play coming off the bench to score four points and keep BYU-Hawaii in the lead at halftime at 34-26.
Seasiders came out firing as a shot from Megan Goodman extended their lead to 12 points adding to six solo points made by Fieldsted with 17:17 remaining in the game. Six minutes later BYU-Hawaii and Holy Names found themelves trading buckets to a 56-43 game in favor of the Seasiders.
The crowd came to its feet on a jumper from Fieldsted, which started the eight point run andhighlighted by back-to-back three pointers from Cui to extend the lead to 69-50 with eight minutes remaining.
The Seasiders kept their composure late going to the free-throw line several times as they were able to cruise to the victory.
The Seasiders face Academy of Art in their last game of the regular season at 5 pm HST in the Cannon Activities Center. Live stats and video will be available online.