Feb. 4, 2012
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The Long Beach State women's basketball team nearly erased a 19-point first-half deficit but its late rally came up just short in a 75-71 loss to UC Riverside Saturday afternoon at the Student Recreation Center.
Sophomore Hallie Meneses sparked the 49ers in the second period with 19 of her career-high 21 points. She went 5-for-9 from the field with three 3-pointers and made all eight of her free throws. Senior Tipesa Moorer also finished with 21 points, five rebounds and four steals, while freshman Lauren Spargo grabbed a team-high nine boards.
LBSU (9-14, 4-6 Big West) trailed by six with 24 seconds on the clock, but after a Moorer layup, Mary Ochiltree picked up a steal on the inbounds pass and found Moorer underneath the basket to make it 73-71 with eight seconds left. UC Riverside's Tre'Shonti Nottingham was then fouled and sank both of her free throws at the four second mark to secure the win for the Highlanders.
Long Beach State, which shot 51.5 percent from the field in the second half, finished the game at 39.0 percent. UCR owned a slight 37-32 edge in rebounding.
UC Riverside (5-17, 3-7 Big West) took a 6-0 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers in the first minute of the game. Chantel Dooley then put the 49ers on the board as she completed a three-point play at the 18:11 mark, but the Highlanders proceeded to go on an 11-2 run to pull ahead, 17-5, with 12:08 remaining.
LBSU started to chip away with just under 10 minutes to play as a couple of jumpers from Moorer and a Spargo 3-pointer closed the gap to nine (21-12). UCR went back up by 14 before the 49ers responded once again with a 7-2 spurt, capped by a pair of Alex Sanchez free throws, to trail 28-19 with 4:21 to go.
Long Beach State then went into a drought on the offensive end as it was outscored, 11-1, down the stretch, allowing UCR to take a 39-20 advantage at intermission.
In the first half, the Highlanders made 48.4 percent of their shots while holding the 49ers to 23.1 percent from the field. UCR, which had 10 second chance points, won the battle on the boards, 24-12.
LBSU came out of the break looking like a different team as it quickly cut the deficit to 12 at the 16:19 mark. UC Riverside stayed out front by double digits until the 49ers went on a 13-2 run, which ended with a fastbreak layup by Dooley, to come within four at 62-58 with 3:26 on the clock. After the Highlanders went back on top by nine, Moorer hit a jumper and Meneses drained her third 3-pointer of the half to make it a four-point game (67-63) with 1:15 remaining.
The 49ers outscored UCR, 51-36, in the second period.
Nottingham led UC Riverside with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Natasha Hadley chipped in 16 points.
Long Beach State closes out its four-game road stretch next Saturday, Feb. 11, when it heads to Big West leading Cal State Northridge for a 4 p.m. showdown.
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