BYU-Hawaii, Hawai‘i Hilo square off on The Big Island this evening in key PacWest battle

Shayla Washington HILO, Hawai‘i – When BYU-Hawaii and Hawai‘i Hilo square off on The Big Island in a few hours, the final women’s basketball game of a busy slate of contests played on Jan. 26 will be an intriguing epilogue to an eventful novel.

Tip-off for the PacWest Women’s Basketball Game of the Week on Saturday evening, Jan. 26, is 5 p.m. HAST. Live stats and a video broadcast are available.

The Vulcans enter tonight’s contest 6-3 in the PacWest and one of the most surprising – and dangerous – teams in the conference.

UHH has an opportunity to put a stranglehold on a playoff berth for the inaugural PacWest Women’s Basketball Tournament - scheduled March 7-9 at Azusa Pacific University - if the Vulcans can extend their winning streak to six straight games.

BYU-Hawaii, meanwhile, is battling with Dominican (4-4) for the sixth and final playoff slot and currently sits a game out with a 3-5 record. The Penguins are battling Notre Dame de Namur (1-7) and could be a game-and-a-half up on the Seasiders before BYU-Hawaii tips off this evening.

While the season is rolling through its midpoint, BYU-Hawaii is approaching must-win territory. A victory over the Vulcans this evening puts the fifth and sixth seeds in striking distance, but a loss creates challenges for the Seasiders who could end up two down in the loss column.

Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo has had a major impact on the Seasiders since joining the team seven games ago. She is averaging 23.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Shayla Washington (photo) is averaging a double-double with 20.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per outing.

Kamie and Kirsty Imai are the go-to players for the Vulcans. Kamie is boasting 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest, while Kirsty is posting 10.2 points per game.