IRVINE, Calif. – BYU-Hawaii women's basketball saw its season come to an end in its second appearance at the PacWest Championship Tournament, falling to Point Loma Nazarene University 88-65 on Thursday in the Concordia University Arena.
"We knew we would have an uphill battle," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "They shot the ball extremely well, but our girl's showed some resiliency battling back in the second half. It was just too big of a deficit to overcome against a quality opponent like Point Loma."
The Seasiders (15-12, 12-8 PacWest) were led by Whitney Fieldsted's 19 points and seven rebounds. Celeste Claw added 16 points, four rebounds, three steals and eight assists. Brydgette Tatupu contributed six points and three assists while playing with a broken wrist.
BYU-Hawaii shot 44.6 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from behind the arc. Both teams hit 63.6 percent of free throws. Point Loma (19-10, 15-5 PacWest) outrebounded BYU-Hawaii 39-32 and capitalized on the Seasider miscues, scoring 28 points off turnovers. The Seasiders had 18 assists, 24 points in the paint and 16 bench points.
The Sea Lions took control of the game with a 9-0 run to take an early 13-3 lead, but Claw buried a 3-point jumper cut the lead back to single digits with 14:46 left in the first half. A 10-0 run by Point Loma extended the lead to 31-13 with 9:45 on the clock.
The Seasiders had stop-and-go scoring through the first half with nine points each from Fieldsted and Claw to send them into halftime trailing 56-30.
BYU-Hawaii's intermittent scoring continued into the second half, but Fieldsted and Kjirsten Nelson led them on a 10-2 run to close it to 74-46 with 10:28 remaining in the game. A 13-2 Seasider run was highlighted by consecutive 3-pointers by Megan Goodman to bring the score to 79-59 with 6:57 left. It was too little, too late as the Sea Lions were able to coast to victory.
Despite the loss, BYU-Hawaii returns from the mainland after finishing its third winning season in program history and appearing in its second PacWest Conference Championship.