Jan. 9, 2014
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team erased an eight-point deficit with 3:30 left in regulation and carried its momentum into overtime as it ran away with an 84-75 victory against UC Irvine in both teams' Big West opener Thursday evening at the Walter Pyramid.
The 49ers (9-6, 1-0 Big West) closed out the second half on an 11-3 run to send the game into overtime. Senior Jade Wilson then started the extra period off with a jumper on the opening possession and LBSU proceeded to outscore the Anteaters, 12-3, for the nine-point win. Long Beach State held UCI without a field goal in those final five minutes.
"I'm proud of the girls' effort to come back and put it into overtime," 49er head coach Jody Wynn said. "We didn't quit. We made big plays and got big stops as time was winding down in regulation."
Freshman Raven Benton led four 49ers in double figures with a team-high 18 points, while grabbing a game and career-high 15 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. Wilson also had her first double-double with a season-best 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Wilson added five steals and three assists.
Juniors Alex Sanchez and Ella Clark contributed 14 and 11 points, respectively. In addition, Sanchez dished out a game-high five assists and Clark had four steals. Juniors Hallie Meneses and Lauren Spargo also had nine points each.
Long Beach State ended up outrebounding UC Irvine, 62-42. Their 62 boards were a season high and were the most by an LBSU squad since pulling down 66 against Oregon in 2010.
The 49ers also shot 41.3 percent from the floor, while holding the Anteaters to 32.0 percent.
The first half was a seesaw battle that saw 11 lead changes and eight tie scores. LBSU struck first but UCI proceeded to go up, 17-12, at the 12:34 mark. The 49ers then came back with seven unanswered points to reclaim the lead at 19-17.
Long Beach State eventually used another 6-0 spurt, capped by a Benton putback, to pull ahead, 31-27, with 4:43 remaining, but the Anteaters outscored the home team, 11-4, down the stretch to hold a narrow 38-35 cushion at the break.
UC Irvine (7-8, 0-1 Big West) opened the second period on a 10-2 run to take a 48-37 lead with 14:51 to play. LBSU then came storming back with an 11-2 spurt of its own to close the gap to two at 50-48.
UCI was able to stay out front and went up by eight (69-61) with 3:30 left, but the 49ers weren't done as Benton capped off the aforementioned 11-3 run with a jumper to knot it up at 72-72 with 43 seconds on the clock.
The Anteaters were led by Jennifer Tsurumoto, who poured in a game-high 30 points. She was 7-of-14 from the field and a perfect 13-for-13 from the free throw line.
Long Beach State continues Big West play at UC Davis on Saturday, Jan. 11. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. (PST).
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