Feb. 8, 2014
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team used a balanced effort to defeat UC Riverside, 65-52, Saturday afternoon at the Walter Pyramid.
Four 49ers reached double figures in scoring, led by freshman Raven Benton's 19 points. Benton also tied for the team lead with eight rebounds. Freshman Anna Kim finished with 12 points, while freshman Madison Montgomery and junior Lauren Spargo had 10 points each. Junior Ella Clark chipped in nine points and eight boards, and classmate Hallie Meneses had a team-best four assists.
LBSU (13-10, 5-4 Big West) shot 39.4 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range, while holding UCR to a 32.8 field goal percentage and an 0-for-10 showing from behind the arc. The 49ers also forced 23 Highlander turnovers.
Kim got Long Beach State out to a quick lead with a 3-pointer on the opening possession. LBSU then went cold, going 0-for-8 from long distance over the next four minutes, allowing UC Riverside to take its first advantage of the game at 7-5 with 12:30 remaining. Benton answered with a layup to knot the score at 7-7, but the Highlanders then used an 8-4 spurt to pull ahead, 15-9, at the 7:40 mark.
The 49ers came right back with a 16-3 run of their own, capped by back-to-back threes from Clark and Benton, to go on top, 25-18, with just under a minute to go. Brittany Crain would then complete a three-point play with 30 seconds on the clock to cut Long Beach State's lead to 25-21 at the half.
LBSU regrouped during the break and came out looking solid on both ends of the floor as it started the second period by scoring the first four points and eventually taking a 37-27 lead on a layup from Clark at the 14:09 mark. UC Riverside would close the gap to five before the 49ers responded with a 10-4 run to go up, 49-38, with 9:37 remaining.
Long Beach State stayed out front and finished strong, using a 12-4 spurt to increase its cushion to 15 with 1:08 remaining, before closing out the 65-52 victory. Spargo sparked the late rally with a pair of 3-pointers.
UC Riverside (4-18, 0-9 Big West) was paced by Crain, who registered a game-high 20 points. Simone DeCoud also had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Long Beach State returns to the road with its Central Coast trip slated for next week. The 49ers will start at UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 13), before making their way to Big West-leading Cal Poly (Feb. 15).
NOTES: Long Beach State did not allow a 3-pointer for the first time this season ... The 49ers improved to 8-0 with four players scoring in double figures ... Raven Benton registered her team-leading 17th double-digit scoring game ... She has hit double figures in three of her last four outings ... Hallie Meneses also led the team in assists for the fifth-straight game.
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