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Long Beach State Wins Fourth Straight, Defeats UC Riverside 70-58 on Senior Night

March 1, 2018

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LONG BEACH -- The Long Beach State women's basketball celebrated its senior trio of Jessica Gertz, Darshana Ta'afua, and Cecily Wilson with its fourth straight win as the Beach collected a 70-58 victory over UC Riverside on Thursday night inside the Walter Pyramid.

The Beach (7-22, 5-10 Big West) boasted three double-figure scorers including a double-double by freshman Emma Merriweather as they shot 36.9 percent from the field and saw a solid defensive effort which limited the Highlanders (8-21, 5-10 Big West) to just 23.4 percent shooting.

Freshman Shanaijah Davison led Long Beach State with her eighth 20-point game of the year as she poured in a team-best 22 points, while adding a team-leading five assists. Also reaching the 20-point plateau was Merriweather who tallied 20 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to notch her fifth-career double-double.

Rounding out the Beach's double-figure scorers was Gertz who registered 15 points as she drained four three-point field goals to lead Long Beach State from beyond the arc. The Beach finished the game with nine made threes led by Gertz and Naomi Hunt who added three treys of her own for a nine-point showing.

Hunt got things started for Long Beach State as she drained a three for the first points of the game. With Hunt's trey, the Beach jumped out in front and never trailed as they led throughout the entire game.

Long Beach State dominated the first quarter offensively shooting 60 percent (9-for-15) from the field, while the defense kept the Highlanders at bay. UC Riverside managed to connect on just four field goals in the frame as they shot only 25 percent from the field.

The Beach defense was on point in the second quarter as the duo of Wilson and junior Martina McCowan kept the Highlanders guessing. LBSU utilized the press and held UC Riverside to a mere 15.8 percent field goal percentage as the Highlanders made just 3-of-19 shots. With the Beach guarding the perimeter, the Highlanders were stymied from long distance as they were unable to connect from beyond the arc, going 0-for-5 in the frame. Meanwhile, Long Beach took a 10-point lead into halftime as the Beach led 37-27 at the break.

Riverside managed to cut the Beach's lead down to single-digits (45-37) in the third quarter, but Long Beach State was quick to regain a comfortable lead. The Beach used a 10-2 run to take its largest advantage of the game, a 16-point lead (55-39) before going into the final quarter with a 55-41 lead.

The Beach held a double-digit lead for nearly the entire fourth quarter. UC Riverside made it a nine-point game (63-54) with 1:46 remaining, but Long Beach State pushed it back to double-digits before winning the game by 12 (70-58).

Michelle Curry led all scorers with 24 points, while Skyler Lewis led the Highlanders with 11 rebounds.

Long Beach State will close out the regular season on Saturday, March 3 at the Pyramid when it hosts CSUN at 4 p.m. in doubleheader with the men's basketball team.



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