Sheikh's sharpshooting leads Seasiders to victory

Sheikh's sharpshooting leads Seasiders to victory

BELMONT, Calif. –  Safia Sheikh hit seven 3-pointers sparked BYU-Hawaii women's basketball to an 83-63 win over Notre Dame de Namur Thursday at the Walter Gleason Gym.

"Turnovers are still an issue, but we settled down and began playing well together offensively," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "We did a nice job of exploiting our size advantage inside with Kristin [Baldwin] and Mata [Tonga]. They both controlled the boards and did a good job getting offensive put backs, while forcing [Jerusha Paine] into six turnovers. That freed up the twins ability to create from the perimeter. We will continue to focus on taking better care of the ball as we prepare for a very physical Dominican team."

S. Sheikh led the Seasiders  (3-4, 1-2 PacWest) with 25 points, four assists, and three steals to earn their first conference win of the season. Baldwin and Tonga each contributed a double-double with Baldwin recording 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Tonga finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

The Argonauts (4-6, 2-1 PacWest) were led by Jerusha Paine's double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Marissa Caballero also contributed 14 points and 3 steals.

The Seasiders shot 43.2 percent (32-74) from the field and 39.1 percent (9-23) from behind the 3-point line, holding NDNU to 34.8 percent (23-66) and 19.0 percent (4-21), respectively. BYU-Hawaii also grabbed a season high 50 rebounds, including 22 on the offensive end to help score 24 second chance points.

After the Argonauts battled back to take a 58-57 lead late in the third quarter, Safia Sheikh hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining to retake a 60-58 lead and give the Seasiders the momentum heading into the final quarter. Marian Sheikh added a jump shot and two 3-pointers at the beginning of the fourth quarter to keep the run going and extend the lead to double digits at 70-60. BYU-Hawaii held NDNU to two field goals in the final quarter, finishing the game on a 26-7 run .

The Argonauts started the game hot, jumping out to an early 8-2 lead. Kristin Baldwin cut that deficit to one with four straight points in the paint for the Seasiders. NDNU then answered by forcing two turnovers and scoring 6 unanswered, extending its lead to seven points. S. Sheikh then hit the first 3-pointer of the game for BYU-Hawaii to cut the deficit to 5. The Seasiders, however, struggled to slow down the Argonaut's offense and trailed 22-16 at the first break.

S. Sheikh sparked BYU-Hawaii early in the second with two 3-pointers  to tie the game at 24 two minutes into the quarter. The Seasiders took their first lead of the night at 29-27 following a Mata Tonga layup and another 3-pointer from Sheikh. BYU-Hawaii continued to score on offense and force turnovers on defense as they led 43-36 at the end of the first half. Aubrey Mendonca had five points in the quarter and eight in the half for NDNU. S. Sheikh and Kristin Baldwin each had 16 in the half for BYU-Hawaii.

NDNU was the first to strike in the third quarter after Mendonca hit her second 3-pointer of the game. The Seasiders immediately answered when S. Sheikh came down the court and hit her fifth 3-pointer of the game. A three-point play by NDNU's Caballero brought the Argonauts within three with just under five minutes left in the quarter.

S. Shaikh answered with another make from behind the arc to build a 51-47 lead for the Seasiders going into the media timeout. NDNU continued to fight and a layup by Megan Crenshaw cut the deficit to one at 53-52 with 2:18 remaining. Paine layed it in to tie the game and Emily Tevez hit two free throws to give the Argonauts a 58-57 lead before the Seasiders went on their game ending run.

BYU-Hawaii wraps up its Northern California road trip Saturday at Dominican at 5:30 p.m. PST. Live stats and video will be available online.

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