Beach Fall Short at Cal State Fullerton, 67-61
Ma’Qhi Berry leads the Beach with 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists
FULLERTON, Calif. – Freshmen Ma’Qhi Berry and Naomi Hunt each scored in double-figures, but the Long Beach State women’s basketball team came up just short at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night dropping a 67-61 contest at Titan Gym.
Berry led the Beach (2-15, 0-3 BWC) with 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Hunt tallied 14 points in the game. Emma Merriweather posted eight boards with two blocks, while Martina McCowan swiped a game-high four steals to go along with nine points and six rebounds.
Long Beach State outshot Cal State Fullerton (7-9, 2-1 BWC) 38.1 percent to 35.2 percent in the game. The Beach outscored the Titans from the field connecting on 24-of-63 field goals, while the Titans made 19-of-54. The two teams matched each other with four made threes from long distance. However, the difference was made at the line. Cal State Fullerton was fouled 25 times and made 25-of-36 free throws, while Long Beach State was 9-for-16 from the charity stripe as the Titans were called for just 13 fouls.
The Beach played a solid first quarter shooting 50 percent (7-for-14) from the field as they outscored the Titans, 17-14. Berry tallied six points in the frame as she was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field. McCowan scored six of her nine total points in the opening 10 minutes as well as the duo combined for 70 percent of LBSU’s points.
Long Beach State took a 17-14 lead into the second quarter, but was held scoreless for the first four minutes as Cal State Fullerton jumped ahead 25-17. From there, the Titans held the lead until 7:56 in the fourth quarter when the Beach managed to tie the game at 48-48 on a layup by Hunt.
The Beach turned the table on the Titans with 6:12 remaining in the game as Hunt drained a three to give Long Beach State a 51-49 lead. The lead was the first for the Beach since 9:48 in the second quarter.
With both teams fighting hard, the contest remained a one-possession game until the 3:36 mark in the fourth quarter when the Titans’ Daeja Smith completed a three-point play to give the hosts a four-point lead (57-53). From there, Cal State Fullerton extended its lead back up to eight (63-55). Long Beach State battled and managed to cut the deficit down to four (65-61) with just 15 seconds left to play, but the Beach were unable to get any close as they fell by six (67-61) to the Titans.
Cal State Fullerton had three players in double-figures as Hannah Thompson led the way with 21 points. Smith added a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Triann Thompson rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points.
Long Beach State will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 13, when the Beach take on Hawaii at 7:30 p.m. (PT) at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
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