The Lady Seasiders withstood a late run by visiting team Fresno Pacific to win 80-77 on the night of Feb. 13 at the Cannon Activities Center.
“They were a scrappy team and very physical,” said Craig Stanger, head coach. “We were able to do enough things right to come out on top, which was nice since we’ve been on the losing end of a few close games recently. We got lucky.”
The Lady Seasiders rode the hot shooting of twin sisters Marian and Safia Sheikh to take a 10-point lead into the half-time and later an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter. The offense ended up being just enough to overcome Fresno’s furious rally.
“We just didn’t want to lose,” said center Kristin Baldwin, a junior from Arizona majoring in exercise and sport science. “In the huddle we talked about really wanting it and if we wanted to put forth the effort to get the win. We wanted to see it in each others’ faces that we were committed.”
Baldwin contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Four of her points came at crucial moments in the fourth quarter as the Lady Sunbirds’ momentum was about to carry them over the home team.
“I know the girls have lost a couple close ones, so it was nice for them not to give this one up. I think they really deserved the win tonight,” said Eric Beswick, a junior from Washington majoring in business finance.
Marian and Safia provided a one-two punch with complimenting skill sets in the victory. Marian was lights out from behind the three-point line shooting a blistering 55 percent from three and 11 of 17 total from the field.
Safia did her damage from the free-throw line making 10 of 12 free throws. A majority of her fouls came when she took the ball into the paint forcing the Fresno Pacific players to foul or allow an easy shot.