Feb. 27, 2014
HONOLULU, Hawaii - The Long Beach State women's basketball team nearly came back from a 20-point deficit in the final 14 minutes, but its late rally fell short in an 82-71 loss to Hawai'i Thursday night at Stan Sheriff Center.
LBSU (15-12, 7-6 Big West) finished the evening shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 70.8 percent from the free throw line, but was just 4-of-18 from behind the arc. Freshman Anna Kim led the way with 20 points, four rebounds and three assists. It was her second 20-point game of the season as she also had a career-high 22 vs. Denver (Jan. 5).
Freshman Raven Benton, who was limited to 18 minutes due to foul trouble, had 14 points, 12 of which came in the first half. Junior Ella Clark added 12 points, while senior Jade Wilson chipped in 11. Junior Hallie Meneses contributed five assists and four steals.
The Rainbow Wahine started the game with an early nine-point lead before Benton sparked a 7-2 run as she scored all of the 49ers' points during that stretch to cut the deficit to 20-16 at the 10:08 mark. UH then went on to outscore LBSU, 20-7, over the next eight minutes to pull ahead, 40-23, but the visitors would close out the half with five unanswered to make it 40-28 at the break.
Long Beach State shot just 38.5 percent from the floor, while UH made 51.4 percent of its attempts in the first period. Benton led the way with 12 points.
The `Bows looked like they were going to run away in the second half, opening the period on a 10-2 spurt to take their largest lead of the night at 50-30 with 14:21 remaining. The 49ers then responded with a 15-2 run of their own, capped by a Wilson jumper, to close the gap to 52-45 with 10:17 left to play.
Hawai'i (15-11, 9-5 Big West) would go back on top by double digits, but LBSU did not quit and came within six at 73-67 following a 3-pointer from Clark at the 1:42 mark. That was the closest Long Beach State would get, however, as the Rainbow Wahine missed just two free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
UH was 81.8 percent (18-of-22) from the charity stripe, while it also made 50.8 percent of its field goal attempts. Shawna-Lei Kuehu notched a game-high 28 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists. Pua Kailiawa also recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.
LBSU, which entered tonight's contest just a half-game behind Hawai'i in the Big West standings, is now tied for fourth with UC Irvine and UC Davis. The trio sits 1.5 games back of UH and Cal Poly, and 2.5 games behind league-leading Cal State Northridge.
Long Beach State is back in action on Saturday, March 1, when it welcomes Cal State Fullerton (10-16, 6-7 Big West) to the Walter Pyramid for a 4 p.m. Big West showdown.
NOTES: Junior Alex Sanchez made her return to the court after sitting out eight games with a foot injury, but was limited to 11 minutes ... Long Beach State was also without the services of its second-leading scorer Lauren Spargo, who sat out with an illness ... LBSU has had eight or fewer players available in the last nine games ... The last time it had at least nine players was against Cal Poly on Jan. 18 ... Anna Kim joined Raven Benton (4) and Alex Sanchez (2) as the third 49er to register multiple 20-point games this year ... All of UH's free throws and free throw attempts came in the second half.
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