The Lady Seasiders were able to secure their second win of the season, defeating the visiting Oakland City Oaks in a very close 81-74 contest on Tuesday, Nov. 22 night in the Cannon Activities Center.
Head Coach Craig Stanger said, “The difference tonight was we settled down and started focusing on getting the ball inside first, feeding off of that rather than settling for some marginal shots on the perimeter.”
The Seasiders benefited from frequent passes inside to the post players, allowing guards Safia and Marian Sheikh to get open for three-point opportunities. The two were able to sink 7 out of 15 three-point attempts. Safia led the team in total points with 23.
Safia Sheikh, a junior psychology major from Denmark, said, “When we are forcing shots on our own, it doesn’t turn out well. Tonight we used everybody on the floor and it turned out much better. I think it was the difference.”
The Seasiders shot 46 percent from the field and 42 percent from behind the three-point arc. While the improved passing played a role, it was the Ladies’ defense that made the winning difference. The Seasiders had six blocks for the night, led by center Kristin Baldwin and forward Mata Tonga.
Stanger added, “Mata did a very nice job of establishing the tone defensively. She had several blocks. She also had several key situations where she came over from the weak side to help, and she dominated the boards early on.”
The Seasiders led for a majority of the game, but the Oaks made a brief run in the final minutes of the third quarter. Oakland took a lead over the Seasiders just before BYUH fired back, tying the score at the end of the quarter.
In the final period, the lead was traded back and forth nine times, making for a close game. The Seasiders finally got some breathing room when Baldwin was able to score off a drop step into the post, giving the Seasiders a three-point lead and the victory.
Beau Kapeliela, a senior from Washington majoring in international cultursal studies, said the ladies played with class. “It was nice to see them get their first win of the season at home. They seemed to play with a lot of poise,” he said.
The Lady Seasiders said they hope they will be able to replicate their passing and shooting efforts from this game going forward in the season.
The Ladies will get a break through the Thanksgiving week. Their next game will be on the road on Saturday, Dec. 3rd against Holy Names University.