Feb. 9, 2013
LONG BEACH - After falling behind by eight late in the second half, the Long Beach State women's basketball team made 18-of-24 free throws over the final seven minutes to come storming back for the 70-63 win over Cal State Northridge Saturday at the Walter Pyramid.
The 49ers (12-11, 5-6 Big West) finished the game with 24 free throws on a season-high 38 attempts. They also shot 45.7 percent from the floor, while holding CSUN to 29.3 percent and a dismal 4-of-31 from 3-point range. Despite their poor shooting performance, the Matadors were able to stay in it by winning the battle on the boards, 57-39.
LBSU put forth a solid team effort as sophomore Devin Hudson led four players in double figures with 15 points, nine of which came from the foul line. Sophomore Alex Sanchez also finished with 13 points as she was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. She added a game-high six assists.
Cal State Northridge (12-11, 6-5 Big West) took an early 6-2 lead before Hudson and Balthazar had back-to-back layups to even the score at 6-6 at the 15:32 mark. After trading baskets, Long Beach State proceeded to go on a huge 15-2 run, capped by five-straight points from Spargo, to go up, 23-10, with 8:42 to play.
The Matadors slowly started to chip away with a 13-7 spurt that closed the gap to seven (30-23) with 57.7 seconds left. Sanchez then made a pair of free throws, but CSUN accounted for the last basket of the half as LBSU held a 32-25 advantage at the break.
Long Beach State shot 50 percent from the floor, while holding Cal State Northridge to 23.5 percent in the first period. The 49ers also had fewer turnovers (12-to-9), but were outrebounded 30-15. Hudson and Balthazar paced LBSU with seven points each.
The Matadors pulled within three to start the second half before sophomore Ella Clark drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Long Beach State a 35-29 edge at the 18:10 mark. CSUN answered with a 9-2 sprint to reclaim the lead and eventually went up, 54-46, with 7:37 remaining.
The 49ers then climbed back by getting to the line where they made 14 free throws during an 18-2 run to go on top, 65-56, with just under one minute remaining. LBSU also turned it up a notch on the defensive end, forcing four turnovers and holding the Matadors to an 0-for-9 stretch from the field.
Cal State Northridge would cut the deficit to three with 26 seconds on the clock, but Long Beach State would make four more free throws to secure the 70-63 win.
Ashlee Guay led CSUN with a game-high 24 points, while Camille Mahlknecht pulled down 16 rebounds.
Long Beach State will hit the road for three games, starting with a 7 p.m. showdown against Cal State Fullerton Thursday (Feb. 14) at Titan Gym.
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