Berry Scores Career-High in Loss at UC Riverside
Ma’Qhi Berry pours in her first 20-point performance of her career in setback
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Freshman guard Ma’Qhi Berry poured in a career-high 20 points for Long Beach State, but the Beach was unable to overcome a difficult fourth quarter as LBSU fell to UC Riverside by a score of 77-53 on Saturday evening.
Berry led a trio of double-figure scorers for the Beach (2-14, 0-2 BWC) as she single-handedly scored all 12 of Long Beach State’s points in the second quarter. Joining Berry in double-figures were Cecily Wilson (12 points) and Martina McCowan (10 points). In addition to her 20-point performance, Berry also added five steals, three rebounds, and two assists.
UC Riverside (4-12, 1-1 BWC), meanwhile, had four double-figure scorers highlighted by Michelle Curry’s 23-point performance.
The Highlanders started the game taking an early lead (5-0), but Long Beach State battled back. The Beach chipped away at UCR’s lead and tied the game at 13-13 on a layup by Wilson with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter. Following a pair of missed jumpers by the Highlanders, the clock expired with the score knotted at 13-all.
The second quarter was all Berry. After having gone 0-for-1 from the field in the first 10 minutes, the freshman guard hit her stride in the next 10. While Riverside managed to score 20 points as a team, Berry kept the Beach in the game as she was 5-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. She gave Long Beach State its first lead of the game when she made a layup at 3:54 to make it a 23-21 game. However, the Highlanders closed out the first half on a 12-2 run to take a 33-25 lead into the locker room.
Long Beach State shot its highest shooting percentage in the third quarter as the Beach came out of the locker room from halftime and shot 50 percent as they connected on 5-of-10 field goals. However, UC Riverside matched them as the Highlanders also shot 50 percent making 7-of-14 field goals.
Berry added to her point total, scoring seven points in the frame to tie her career-high with 19 points and McCowan scored six of her 10 points in the quarter to contribute offensively for Long Beach State. Unfortunately for the Beach, Curry tallied 11 points of her own in the third as UCR outscored LBSU 20-16 in the frame and took a 53-41 lead over the Beach into the fourth.
The difference maker in the game was the fourth quarter. While UC Riverside turned in another 50 percent shooting performance, Long Beach State went cold and connected on just 3-for-13 from the field for a 23.1 percent. The Highlanders extended their lead to as many as 24 in the frame and went on to hand Long Beach State its seventh-straight loss of the year.
The Beach look to get back on the winning track when they take on Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.
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