HONOLULU – The Long Beach State women’s basketball team dropped a 66-63 contest to Hawaii on the road to close out the regular season on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. Despite having three double-figure scorers, the Beach shot just 16.7 percent in the fourth quarter, while Hawaii shot 55.6 percent in the game to snap LBSU’s four-game winning streak.
Long Beach State drops to 21-10 on the year and 12-4 in Big West Conference action and will be the No. 2 seed in the Big West Tournament, earning a double bye into the second semifinal game which will take place on Friday, March 10 at 2:30 p.m. at the Honda Center against the highest remaining seed.
Hawaii finished the regular season with an 11-17 overall record and a 7-9 Big West mark to secure the No. 6 seed in the tournament.
Raven Benton led the Beach with 19 points in the game as she shot 5-for-13 from the field and sank 8-of-11 free throws. She also led the team with six rebounds, while adding two assists. Joining Benton in double-figures were Martina McCowan and Anna Kim. McCowan registered a career-high 13 points in the game as she shot 5-of-8 from the field and was 2-for-3 from long distance. Kim posted 11 points to go along with five rebounds – four of which she grabbed on a single possession – four assists and one steal.
McCowan also provided a solid defensive effort for the Beach which forced Hawaii into 21 turnovers while collecting nine steals.
Madison Montgomery also turned in a stout defensive performance as the senior tied her career-high with five blocked shots. Her first four blocks all came in the first quarter as she helped limit the Rainbow Wahine to their lowest shooting percentage of the game (35.3 percent) in the opening 10 minutes.
Despite Long Beach State’s efforts, Hawaii led for the majority of the game however the Rainbow Wahine never led by more than 10 points as the Beach kept it close throughout.
Hawaii finished the game shooting 43.4 percent from the field, while Long Beach State shot 32.2 percent. The ‘Bows also led the Beach in rebounding (39 to 32) as they scored 28 points in the paint.
Long Beach State went into the final quarter down by five points (50-45) and despite shooting just 16.7 percent from the field in the frame, outscored the ‘Bows 18-16, but still came up short. The Beach tallied 10 of their 18 points in the fourth quarter off of free throws as they shot 71.4 percent (10-for-14) from the line. However, Hawaii was 5-of-9 from the field turning in a 55.6 shooting percentage to go along with 50 percent shooting from beyond the arc and from the line.
The game came down to the final seconds as Long Beach State had possession and was down by three with 14.1 seconds left to play. Despite their efforts, the Beach was unable to connect on a three and fell to the Rainbow Wahine, 66-63.
Hawaii was led by Sarah Toeaina’s 25 points as she was 10-for-13 from the field and 5-for-6 from the line. Makenna Woodfolk added 10 points in the game to go along with seven boards, two blocks and one steal.
Long Beach State will return to action on Friday, March 10 at 2:30 p.m. in the second semifinal game at the Honda Center in Anaheim against the highest remaining seed.
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