Feb. 16, 2013
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The Long Beach State women's basketball team shot over 50 percent from the field en route to a huge 80-66 Big West road win over UC Riverside Saturday evening at the SRC Arena.
LBSU (14-11, 7-6 Big West) finished the game with a season-high 51.9 field goal percentage, and was 9-of-18 from 3-point range. The 49ers' 80 points are a season high and it marks the first time they have reached the 80-point plateau since Jan. 22, 2011, when they topped UC Irvine 80-79.
Four 49ers scored in double figures, led by sophomore Ella Clark's 16 points. Sophomore Devin Hudson had 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds, while classmate Alex Sanchez totaled 13 points and a career-best nine assists. Junior Jade Wilson rounded out the quartet as she matched her season high with 11 points.
Long Beach State raced out to a 9-3 lead as Hudson scored the first six points before Sanchez drained a 3-pointer at the 16:23 mark. UC Riverside then went on a 13-7 run to knot it up at 16-16, before the 49ers pulled back ahead by four (20-16) following a pair of free throws from Wilson.
The Highlanders (11-12, 4-8 Big West) answered with six-straight points to take their first lead at 22-20 with 8:36 to go. After the two teams traded baskets, senior Mary Ochiltree hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put LBSU on top, 29-24. Long Beach State stayed out front the rest of the way and Clark accounted for the final seven points of the half to give the visitors a 43-35 advantage at the break.
The 49ers shot 57.1 percent (16-of-28) from the field and 60 percent (6-of-10) from behind the arc in the first period. Hudson led a balanced effort with 10 points and five rebounds.
LBSU opened the second half on a 7-2 sprint, capped by a Clark jumper, to pull ahead 50-37 with 16:15 remaining. The Highlanders closed the gap to eight, but the 49ers came storming back with a 15-4 run to take their largest lead of the game at 66-47. Sanchez, Clark and Ochiltree all connected for a three during the spurt.
UCR responded with seven consecutive points but never came closer than 10 as Long Beach State ran away with the 80-66 victory. The 49ers were a perfect 7-of-7 from the foul line over the final two minutes.
The Highlanders struggled in the second half, shooting just 36.7 percent and making two of their 11 3-point attempts. Tre'Shonti Nottingham finished with a game-high 25 points, while Brittany Crain had 17.
Long Beach State will make the short trip to UC Irvine for its lone game next week. The 49ers and Anteaters will square off in the Black & Blue Rivalry Series meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, at Bren Events Center.
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