ST. GEORGE, Utah – BYU-Hawaii women's basketball fell 67-61 in a tightly contested game Thursday with Dixie State at Burns Arena.
"Dixie State really outplayed us physically and executed better tonight," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "They did a good job of containing our scorers and deserved to win. I was happy to see the production of a few of our bench players and [Tyvette White] had a big game for us, but ultimately it was our inability to defend when it mattered most that cost us the victory."
White led the Seasiders (8-10, 5-7 PacWest) with a career-high 22 points to go with three assists on the day. Taryn Skahill added 10 points and eight rebounds, while Maia Jean Watene set a career-high with 10 points of her own to round out the double-digit scorers. Kristin Baldwin tied her career high with 15 rebounds.
Matti Ventling finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, connecting on 50 percent of her shots from the field and 3-point line for the Trailblazers (3-17, 3-11 PacWest). Ashlee Burge added 14 points and nine rebounds, while Shelby Kassuba contributed 10 points and six rebounds.
Dixie State connected on 37.1 percent of its shots from the field and 34.6 percent from behind the arc, while holding BYU-Hawaii to 32.9 and 18.2 percent, respectively. The Seasiders outrebounded the Trailblazers 49-45, but it wasn't enough to make up the difference in shooting percentages.
Dixie State took the lead early with hot shooting behind the arc, as Ventling and Ali Franks each connected to give the Trailblazers the 8-4 lead. The Seasiders refused to allow the lead any higher as they answered the rest of the way and White's jumper with 1:38 left in the first period made it 12-10.
Tramina Jordan started the second quarter with a 3-pointer before Maia Jean Watene was able to answer with back-to-back jumpers to make it a 15-14 game one minute in to the new period. Safia Sheikh gave the Seasiders their first lead of the game with a 3-pointer to make it 17-16 with seven minutes until halftime. Dixie State retook the lead minutes later on Kassuba's first three, and the teams traded baskets to a 27-25 Trailblazer lead heading into the locker room.
The Trailblazers went on a small 4-0 run to begin the second half before White's jumper gave BYU-Hawaiii its first points of the second half. S. Sheikh and Baldwin each hit jumpers to keep the game close before Skahill hit a jumper to regain a 42-41 lead with 58 seconds remaining in the quarter. Ventling answered quickly again with a layup with 24 seconds remaining in the third to make it 43-42 in favor of Dixie State.
White put up four points for the Seasiders to start the fourth quarter to keep the Seasiders within two points as the teams continued to trade baskets. Marian Sheikh hit a 3-pointer with 3:49 remaining and White added a layup a minute later to tie the game at 55. Lisa VanCampen answered for the Trailblazers with a 3-pointer of her own to regain the lead. After Skahill collected an offensive rebound and laid it in to close the gap to 60-59 with 1:25 remaining, Ventling quickly answered with a three at the other end to extend the lead to four. The Seasiders were unable to get any closer over the final minute of play.
BYU-Hawaii returns to action Saturday in Riverside, California, to take on California Baptist at 5 p.m. PST. Live stats and video will be available online.