Feb. 21, 2013
IRVINE, Calif. - The Long Beach State women's basketball team nearly erased a double-digit deficit in the final three minutes, but it came up just short in a 65-57 loss to UC Irvine Thursday evening at the Bren Events Center.
LBSU saw its three-game win streak snapped as it fell to 14-12 overall and 7-7 in Big West play. UCI improved to 9-17 and 5-9 in conference action with its fourth-straight victory.
Sophomore Alex Sanchez led the 49ers with a game-high 18 points on a 7-of-12 shooting performance. She also had six rebounds and a team-best four assists. Sophomore Ella Clark added 11 points and eight boards, while classmate Devin Hudson finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Chantel Dooley chipped in nine points.
Long Beach State raced out to a 6-0 lead at the 17:05 mark as Sanchez had a pair of layups and Dooley sank two free throws. UC Irvine would get on the board just under 25 seconds later, but the 49ers answered with a 3-pointer from Clark to go up, 9-2.
The Anteaters came storming back with nine-straight points to take their first advantage at 11-9. They would go up by as many as five before LBSU evened the score at 16-16 on a baseline jumper by Jade Wilson with 6:27 on the clock. UCI would then go on a 13-6 run before Sanchez went the length of the floor for the layup at the buzzer to make it 29-24 at the break.
Sanchez finished with a team-high 10 points in the first half. Long Beach State shot 43.5 percent from the floor, but was just 2-of-10 from behind the arc.
UC Irvine opened the second period on an 8-1 spurt to take its largest lead of the night at 37-25, but LBSU responded with a 12-2 run, capped by a three-point play from Hudson, to close the gap to 39-37 at the 11:30 mark. The Anteaters then went on a 13-3 sprint of their own to go back on top by 12 at 52-40 with just under eight minutes remaining.
The 49ers chipped away and with solid pressure defense they came up with a couple of big steals to pull within five (58-53) at the 2:17 mark. That was the closest they would get, however, as UC Irvine made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch for the 65-57 victory.
UC Irvine finished the game shooting 42.1 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from 3-point range. Kelly Meggs paced the Anteaters with 14 points, while Camille Buckley had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid for its final homestand next week as it is set to entertain conference-leading Pacific (Feb. 28) and UC Davis (March 2).
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