March 6, 2012
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The seventh-seeded Long Beach State women's basketball team showed its heart on Tuesday evening as it erased a 19-point second-half deficit to upend No. 2 seed Cal State Northridge, 57-52, at The Matadome in the first round of the Big West Tournament.
The 49ers won their first Big West Tournament game since 2007. They advance to the semifinals where they will face top-seeded Cal Poly at noon at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
LBSU (13-17) put together a big second half as it shot 44 percent, while keeping the Matadors to a dismal 23.1 percent. It also forced 10 CSUN turnovers and committed just six of its own.
Senior Tipesa Moorer, a second-team All-Big West selection, led Long Beach State with 14 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Lauren Spargo went 4-for-5 from the field and was 3-of-3 from beyond the arc to finish with 11 points.
Freshman Devin Hudson was huge underneath the basket with nine points and seven rebounds. She also disrupted the Matadors' leading scorer, Jasmine Erving, who went 5-for-18 from the floor.
Cal State Northridge (17-13) got on the board with an uncontested layup following the opening tip, but Moorer came back with a 3-pointer at the 19:13 mark. The 49ers proceeded to take a 5-2 lead on a Hudson jumper before the Matadors responded with a 9-2 run to go up, 11-7, with 12:22 remaining.
CSUN pulled ahead by eight when Spargo scored five-straight points to cut the deficit to 19-16 with 5:08 on the clock. The 49ers still trailed by three with three minutes left in the half, but they were outscored 10-2 down the stretch. Janae Sharpe banked a 3-pointer in at the buzzer to give Northridge a 31-20 advantage at the break.
In the first half, Long Beach State shot 33.3 percent, while Cal State Northridge was at 39.4 percent. The 49ers held a slight 20-19 edge in rebounds, but committed 13 turnovers. Moorer led LBSU with seven points and six rebounds.
The Matadors picked up where they left off before intermission, opening the second period with eight unanswered points to take a 39-20 lead. LBSU then dug deep and closed the gap to seven at 40-33 thanks to a 13-1 spurt that ended with a Meneses layup at the 11:59 mark. Spargo sparked the run with a pair of 3-pointers.
After Northridge reclaimed a 10-point edge, the 49ers came storming back to go on top, 46-43, with a 3-pointer from Ochiltree with 5:28 to go. It was LBSU's first lead since 14:49 of the first half.
Long Beach State continued to take advantage of CSUN's nine-minute scoring drought as it built a 51-43 lead with 2:22 to play. The 49ers held the Matadors without a point until the 1:15 mark and the home team couldn't recover as Meneses and Sanchez combined for six clutch free throws in the final minute for the 57-52 victory.
Jasmine Erving paced Cal State Northridge with 13 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. Janae Sharpe also had 13 points.
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