March 12, 2014
LONG BEACH - The sixth-seeded Long Beach State women's basketball team nearly pulled off an upset, but ultimately dropped a narrow 52-49 decision to No. 3 seed Hawai'i in a Big West Tournament quarterfinal game Wednesday evening at the Walter Pyramid.
Although the 49ers struggled offensively, they were able to keep it close with their defensive pressure. They also performed well on the boards, grabbing 42 rebounds, including 15 on the offensive glass.
LBSU (17-15) shot just 28.3 percent from the field, 16.7 percent from 3-point range and 62.5 percent from the free throw line. Freshman Raven Benton was Long Beach State's high scorer with 11 points, nine of which came at the charity stripe.
Junior Ella Clark finished with a career-high 14 rebounds, to go along with six points and three blocks. Junior Lauren Spargo chipped in eight points and six boards, while senior Jade Wilson had seven points and five rebounds. Freshman Anna Kim also recorded seven boards and three assists.
Hawai'i (17-12) scored the first five points of the game, but the 49ers came back to tie it up at 7-7 on a Wilson layup and eventually took their first lead at 10-9 following a three-point play from Kim at the 13:02 mark. It went back-and-forth over the next eight minutes before the Rainbow Wahine closed out the half on an 8-0 run to carry a 27-20 advantage into the locker room.
UH pulled ahead by nine early in the second period before LBSU came storming back with 12 unanswered, capped by consecutive threes from Hallie Meneses and Alex Sanchez, to go up, 33-30, with 13:25 remaining. The `Bows called a timeout and regrouped as they responded with a pair of layups to go back on top. It was a seesaw battle the rest of the way with 10 more lead changes.
After falling behind by four with 7:38 to play, the 49ers rallied, using a 10-5 spurt over the next five-plus minutes to hold a 49-48 advantage. Hawai'i then drew a foul with 1:41 remaining and made both attempts from the line for the 50-49 edge. UH was able to get a stop, but missed a jumper, giving LBSU the ball with 29 seconds on the clock thanks to Clark's 14th rebound of the night.
Long Beach State worked to get it inside to Wilson, but Morgan Mason came up with a big steal and was quickly fouled with 6.9 seconds to go. She made both ends of the one-and-one and a last-second 3-point attempt by Meneses hit the front of the iron to give the Rainbow Wahine the 52-49 victory.
Ashleigh Karaitiana paced Hawai'i with a game-high 18 points as she was 4-for-5 from behind the arc.
Overall, there were 16 lead changes and 12 tie scores in the game.
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