Feb. 2, 2013
STOCKTON, Calif. - The Long Beach State women's basketball team hung with Big West-leading Pacific for 30 minutes, but the Tigers pulled ahead midway through the second half for the 69-53 victory Saturday evening at Alex G. Spanos Center.
LBSU (11-10, 4-5 Big West) outrebounded UOP, 50-39, and owned a better field goal percentage (37.0-to-32.8), but it suffered from 27 turnovers that led to 33 points for the home team.
Sophomore Lauren Spargo paced the 49ers with 14 points and a career-best eight rebounds. Sophomore Bianka Balthazar also finished with 12 points, while classmate Ella Clark added nine points and a career-high 11 boards. Sophomore Alex Sanchez had a team-best seven assists.
Long Beach State took an early 2-1 lead with a Devin Hudson layup at the 18-minute mark, but Pacific answered with a 9-2 spurt to go on top, 10-4. Spargo then scored five-straight points to cut the deficit to 10-9.
The Tigers (18-3, 8-1 Big West) went back out front by six before the 49ers used a 12-6 run, capped by a three-point play from Balthazar, to tie it up at 21-21 with 6:44 to play. UOP then proceeded to outscore LBSU, 13-2, over the next four-plus minutes to take a 34-23 advantage. Long Beach State was then able to close the gap to seven as Jade Wilson's jumper at the buzzer made it 34-27 at intermission.
Balthazar and Spargo paced the 49ers with nine points each, while Clark had eight rebounds in the first period.
Long Beach State accounted for the first five points of the second half to tie it up at 34-34 following a three-point play from Balthazar with 16:58 remaining. Pacific went back on top before LBSU knotted the score again at 37-37 on a Sanchez 3-pointer. The Tigers then pulled ahead for good as a Kendall Kenyon jumper sparked an 11-2 run that gave them a 48-39 advantage.
Clark brought the 49ers within six (48-42) with a 3-pointer at the 10:07 mark, but Pacific went on a 16-4 sprint over the next 6:36 to take its largest lead at 64-46. The Tigers then held on for the 69-53 win.
Kenyon registered a game-high 16 points and 19 rebounds, while Kendall Rodriguez had 13 points for Pacific. UOP also finished with 18 steals, led by Erica McKenzie's six takeaways.
Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid next week when it entertains Hawai'i (Feb. 7) and Cal State Northridge (Feb. 9). The 49ers will hold their Breast Cancer Awareness Night against the Matadors on Saturday, Feb. 9.
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