HPU women hoops win PacWest crown
The Pacific West Conference crowned a women's champion Thursday night as Hawai'i Pacific clinched with a 67-64 overtime victory against Grand Canyon in Arizona, assuring the Sea Warriors a berth in the NCAA Division II West Regional next weekend at a site to be determined.
HPU, which still has games at Dixie State tonight and against Brigham Young-Hawai'i Monday, is 13-1 in league games and 17-5 overall.
The top eight teams in the final regional rankings, which will be released Wednesday, will help determine the regional qualifiers.
In the men's race, Dixie State holds a half-game lead on BYU-Hawai'i. HPU is in third place, but is a long shot to win the league after a 100-91 double-overtime loss at Grand Canyon Thursday.
The Red Storm (13-2) conclude the regular season with tonight's game against HPU. If they win, Dixie State clinches at least a share of the PacWest title. The Seasiders (12-2) finish a three-game road trip at Notre Dame de Namur tonight and play HPU (11-3) Monday in the regular-season finale for both teams. If BYUH wins out, they would be crowned co-champions with Dixie State.
"In that case, (in order to break the tie), we'd have to await the final placement of Grand Canyon and UH-Hilo," PacWest commissioner Bob Hogue said. "It goes to our fourth tiebreaker, which is descending order of finish."
Hogue explained that if Grand Canyon finishes fourth, then BYUH wins the tiebreaker. However, if the Vulcans finish fourth, they would have to await Wednesday's regional ranking as the final tiebreaker.
Dixie State was fifth and BYUH was sixth in this week's rankings, so they are both "almost assuredly in," Hogue said.
If HPU beats Dixie State tonight and BYUH Monday (assuming BYUH beats Notre Dame de Namur tonight), it would give the PacWest tri-champions. However, the Sea Warriors have virtually no shot at the postseason because they cannot claim the league's automatic regional berth given to its champion (loses tiebreaker to Dixie State) and were unranked in the latest regional rankings.
"Those rankings are based on a ton of numbers like non-conference schedule, record versus teams above .500 (winning percentage), record on the road and so on," Hogue said. "So you don't see teams making big jumps from week-to-week, so based on that, the chances of HPU getting to the regionals are tremendously unlikely."
The top team in the West Regional, which will be held March 12 to 15, will serve as the host site.
Grand Canyon, HPU split: Caelan O'Meara spaced four hits over seven innings, and Sean Winston and Alex Agortsas each drove in a run in the first inning as Hawai'i Pacific beat Grand Canyon, 2-1, last night to gain a split of a Pacific West Conference doubleheader at Hans L'Orange Park.
Jay Green went 2 for 4 and drove in two runs to lead Grand Canyon to an 8-7 victory in the nine-inning first game.
O'Meara struck out seven and walked three in going the distance to improve to 2-0.
Kale Sumner went 3 for 3 with an RBI, Sean Winston had two hits and Blake Amaral drove in two runs for the Sea Warriors in the first game.
Hawai'i Pacific is 10-3 and 5-1 in the PacWest. Grand Canyon is 14-8 and 7-3. The two teams meet in a doubleheader starting today at 2 p.m. at Hans L'Orange.
Grand Canyon sweeps BYUH: Amy Searcy pitched a six-inning, no-hitter in a 12-0 first-game victory, and visiting Grand Canyon rolled to an 18-5 rout in the second game for a Pacific West Conference doubleheader sweep of Brigham Young-Hawai'i yesterday at Lā'ie.
Michelle Rasmussen hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs to lead the Antelopes in the first game. Kara Holforf and Tracy Lubken each had four hits, with Lubken driving in five runs to lead the Antelopes' 22-hit offense in the second game.
Grand Canyon improved to 16-4 overall and 6-4 in conference. BYUH fell to 0-14 and 0-6.
UH-Hilo sweeps Chaminade: Amber Waracka scattered four hits as Hawai'i-Hilo defeated Chaminade, 4-1, in the second game to complete a PacWest doubleheader sweep last night Central O'ahu Regional Park.
Bryanna Hardy's two-run double in the top of the sixth inning broke a 4-all tie as the Vulcans won the second game, 6-4. Waracka pitched four scoreless innings in relief of Sarah Weisskopf to earn the victory.
With the sweep, Hawai'i-Hilo improved to 6-4 and 2-3. Chaminade fell to 3-6, 0-1.