Jan. 5, 2014
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team looked dominant in its final tune-up before the start of Big West play as it defeated Denver, 88-68, Sunday afternoon at the Walter Pyramid.
With the win, the 49ers improved to 8-6 overall, marking the second year in a row they have finished their non-conference slate over .500.
LBSU's 88 points were the most it has scored this season and the most it has scored in a regulation game since a 102-62 win at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 15, 2006. The 49ers also had 92 points in a double-overtime contest at Pacific in 2009.
Freshmen Anna Kim and Raven Benton led the way with 22 points each. It was a career-high for Kim, who was 8-for-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from behind the arc. For Benton, it was her fourth 20-point performance of the season. Benton also had a team-best seven rebounds and a career-high four assists.
Freshman Madison Montgomery added six rebounds and a career-high 16 points, on a 7-for-11 shooting performance. Junior Alex Sanchez also registered 11 points, five boards and a season-best seven assists.
The 49ers finished the afternoon with a 47.3 field goal percentage. They were 10-for-24 from 3-point range.
Long Beach State raced out to an 8-0 lead following back-to-back 3-pointers from Kim. Denver then got on the board and proceeded to go on a 12-4 run to even the score at the 13:59 mark. Lauren Spargo responded with a 3-pointer, but the Pioneers would come back with a 9-1 spurt to go up, 21-16.
LBSU answered with an 11-4 run of its own to go back on top, 27-25, at the 8:40 mark. The 49ers went on to take a 40-31 lead on consecutive 3-pointers from Benton and Kim. Long Beach State continued to put the pressure on and held a 47-36 cushion at the break.
The 49ers shot 51.4 percent from the field in the first half. Kim led the way with 17 of her 22 points, while Benton added 12.
LBSU quickly pulled away after the break, opening the second period on a 17-5 run, capped by a Montgomery putback, to go up, 65-41, with 13:45 to play. Long Beach State would extend its lead to 30 points (78-48) following a Sanchez jumper at the 9:12 mark and the 49ers stayed out front by at least 17 the rest of the way.
Denver (2-13) finished the afternoon shooting 40.4 percent from the floor and 52.9 percent from 3-point range. Theresa Wirth paced the Pioneers with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Long Beach State opens its Big West Conference slate on Thursday, Jan. 9, when it welcomes UC Irvine to the Walter Pyramid for a 5 p.m. showdown.
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