Feb. 28, 2012
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team rallied late in the game, but came up just short in a hard-fought 73-68 loss to Pacific Tuesday evening at the Walter Pyramid.
LBSU (11-17, 6-9 Big West) shot 46.4 percent from the floor and dominated in the paint where it outscored the Tigers, 42-24, but Pacific was better from beyond the arc (47.4 percent) and the free throw line (62.1 percent).
Senior Tipesa Moorer led four 49ers in double figures with 17 points and added a team-high eight rebounds. Freshman Chantel Dooley also finished with 11 points and a career-best six steals, while freshmen Devin Hudson and Lauren Spargo chipped in 10 points each. Hudson also grabbed six boards.
Long Beach State took its first lead of the night when Dooley sank a pair of free throws with 6:41 left in the game. There would be two more lead changes and two tie scores before Erica McKenzie hit a deep 3-pointer that put the Tigers up, 67-64, at the 2:20 mark. LBSU was able to pull within two but Pacific went 6-of-8 from the charity stripe over the final two minutes to hold on for the 73-68 victory.
The Tigers had opened the second half with five consecutive points to pull ahead, 40-31. LBSU then proceeded to go an 8-1 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Spargo, to make it 46-45 with 13:38 to play. The 49ers continued to chip away and tied it back up at 54-54.
Pacific (15-11, 8-6 Big West) jumped out to a 14-6 lead before the 49ers went on a 10-2 run to even the score 16-16 with 10:29 remaining in the first half. The Tigers then rebuilt their lead to nine following a 12-3 spurt that ended at the 4:40 mark.
The visitors stayed out front by at least five before a three-point play from Hudson followed by a Spargo 3-pointer cut the deficit to one with 1:41 on the clock. With 40 seconds to go, Gena Johnson answered with a three-point play of her own to put the Tigers up, 35-31, at the break.
Long Beach State made 48.1 percent of its shots, while Pacific went 40.6 percent from the floor in the first period. Hudson led the 49ers with eight points and five rebounds.
Pacific finished the game with a 44.2 field goal percentage and was paced by McKenzie's game-high 22 points. Johnson also finished with 19 points, while Kendall Rodriguez added 17 points and nine rebounds.
With the loss, the 49ers are out of the running for one of the top four seeds in the Big West Tournament, which means they will be on the road for their first round game. LBSU, which is currently in seventh place, can still finish as high as tied for sixth.
Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid on Thursday, March 1, for its regular-season finale against Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. The 49ers will hold their annual Pack the House Challenge against the Titans and will also honor their two seniors, Sarah Lottinville and Tipesa Moorer, following the game.
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