Feb. 13, 2014
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Long Beach State women's basketball team was unable to come back from an early deficit as it fell to UC Santa Barbara, 80-69, Thursday evening at The Thunderdome.
LBSU (13-11, 5-5 Big West) finished the night shooting 44.2 percent from the floor and 45 percent from 3-point range. It struggled from the free throw line where it was 14-of-24, and committed 22 turnovers. Eighteen of those miscues came in the first half.
Freshman Raven Benton led the 49ers with 17 points and 10 rebounds, marking her team-leading third double-double of the year. Freshman Anna Kim added 14 points and a season-best five assists, while junior Ella Clark finished with 14 points and eight boards. Junior Lauren Spargo had 13 points and senior Jade Wilson chipped in nine rebounds. Both Kim and Spargo made a trio of threes.
UC Santa Barbara (7-15, 2-7 Big West) came out of the gates running as it took an 11-0 lead before Kim got Long Beach State on the board with a jumper at the 16:38 mark. The Gauchos went up by as many as 13 until a pair of baskets by Clark made it 15-6 with 14:02 remaining. UCSB then proceeded to go on an 18-7 run over the next six-plus minutes to hold its largest advantage of the half at 33-13.
LBSU would start chipping away late in the period, outscoring the home team, 6-2, in the final 4:30 to cut the deficit to 39-23 at the break.
The Gauchos scored the first five points of the second half to go on top, 44-23, but the 49ers quickly answered with an 8-1 run, capped by a Clark layup, to make it 45-31 with 17:07 remaining. Melissa Zornig then hit a 3-pointer, sparking a 7-1 spurt for UC Santa Barbara, which put it back up by 20 with 15:25 to play.
Long Beach State would close the gap to 14 again on a Wilson layup before UCSB pulled ahead, 76-56, at the 5:15 mark. LBSU would make one last push with a 13-3 run to come within 10 with 36.9 seconds on the clock, but it was too little too late as the Gauchos held on for the 80-69 victory.
UC Santa Barbara registered a 46.0 field goal percentage and was 72 percent from the free throw line. Zornig paced the Gauchos with 18 points, while Nicole Nesbit had 17 points and six assists.
Long Beach State returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 15, when it heads to league-leading Cal Poly for a 4 p.m. Big West showdown.
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