Seasiders fight off Hawks' last minute surge

Taryn Skahill scored a career-high 12 points off the bench.
Taryn Skahill scored a career-high 12 points off the bench.

LAIE, Hawaii – Taryn Skahill gave BYU-Hawaii women's basketball a spark off the bench and defense helped them seal the win in the closing seconds in a 54-53 win over Holy Names Saturday at the Cannon Activities Center.

"It was a hard fought team victory and showed our ability to overcome several big runs by Holy Names," BYU-Hawaii head coach Craig Stanger said. "We got some great contributions off the bench from Taryn and Maia [Watene] and Kristin really anchored our defensive effort with rebounds and altering many shots. I was pleased with our rebounding effort the past two games, and the offensive boards we grabbed tonight proved to be essential in the victory."

Skahill scored a career-high 12 points for BYU-Hawaii (8-8, 5-5 PacWest) and added five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Marian Sheikh contributed a team-high 14 points and finished with eight rebounds and two blocks, while Kristin Baldwin had her fourth-straight game with double-digit rebounds finishing with 14.

Jeana Magana led all players with 16 points for the Hawks (1-16, 1-10 PacWest), going 4 for 8 on 3-pointers. Tiana Burks added nine points off the bench.

The Seasiders shot 39.1 percent from the field and Holy Names hit 39.2 percent of their shots, but BYU-Hawaii outrebounded the Hawks by 15, including 20 offensive rebounds.

The teams traded baskets to open up the first quarter to a 9-9 tie. Mata Tonga then started a run coming off a screen to hit a short jumper. Safia Sheikh then picked up a loose ball and drove to score two more and Skahill ended the quarter with a jumper from the right side of the lane to give BYU-Hawaii the 15-9 lead heading to the second.

M. Sheikh started the second period driving down the left side of the lane for two more and Skahill quickly added a putback jumper to end a 10-0 run that began in the first quarter for the Seasiders. Magana ended the run with a 3-pointer to make it 19-12 with nine minutes remaining in the half.

Skahill again nailed a short jumper to start a 6-0 run to make it 25-12 in favor of BYU-Hawaii. The Hawks closed the gap quickly with a 14-point run, causing turnovers and scoring several fast break buckets and Isabelle Ayad gave Holy Names its first lead at 29-27 with a layup. S. Sheikh hit a 10-foot jumper to tie the game at 29 heading into the break.

The Seasiders grabbed the momentum out of the break as M. Sheikh hit a jumper and 3-pointer to spark a 9-0 run to begin the half. Magana hit her second shot behind the arc to close the gap to 38-33 with six minutes remaining, but M. Sheikh answered with a three of her own moments later. Tyvette White gave BYU-Hawaii a double-digit lead with a short jumper off a nice assist from Skahill and the teams traded baskets the rest of the way with the Seasiders taking a 47-37 lead to the final quarter.

The Hawks battled back with seven unanswered point to close the lead to 47-44 after Magana hit another shot from behind the arc. Skahill provided the answer for BYU-Hawaii with back-to-back jumpers to extend the lead to seven at 52-45, but Magana and Tiana Burks both hit 3-pointers for Holy Names to close within three.

Ayad made two free-throws to make it a one-point game and the Hawks got a defensive stop to set up a last second shot for the win. The Seasiders got their hands into passing lanes and kept Holy Names from getting a shot up in the final 13 seconds to seal the win.

BYU-Hawaii will head into Honolulu Thursday to take on Hawaii Pacific at 4:30 p.m. HST at the Blaisdell Center. Live stats and video will be available online.

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