Nov. 9, 2012
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team put forth an impressive team effort and left everything on the floor in a thrilling 74-71 season-opening victory over Sacramento State Friday evening at the Walter Pyramid.
Five of the 49ers' eight available players scored in double figures on the night. Sophomore Chantel Dooley led the charge with 19 points, seven steals and four rebounds. Sophomore Lauren Spargo added 13 points, while classmate Ella Clark finished with 12. Senior Mary Ochiltree and sophomore Alex Sanchez each chipped in 11 points with Sanchez also registering a game-high seven assists.
"I am very pleased with the way our players stepped up through adversity," 49er head coach Jody Wynn said. "Although we did turn the ball over, the way we faced Sacramento State's pressure in the first game of the year should give us confidence. I'm just very proud of our balance and the way we moved and shot the ball."
LBSU (1-0) shot 41.5 percent from the field and made 42.9 percent of its 3-point attempts. It also played well on the defensive end, forcing 30 turnovers.
Sacramento State scored the first five points of the game before Dooley got Long Beach State on the board with a layup at the 18:49 mark. The 49ers continued to play catch-up until they evened the score at 10-10 on back-to-back jumpers by Sanchez, and then went up, 18-11 on a Spargo 3-pointer.
The Hornets responded and would regain a one-point advantage at 22-21 before LBSU proceeded to go on a 15-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from sophomore Sigrid Skorpen, to pull ahead, 36-24, with 1:45 remaining in the half. Another three by Clark with four seconds on the clock gave the home team its largest lead at the break (39-26).
Sacramento State (0-1) took advantage of a four-minute 49er scoring drought to start the second half as it closed the gap to five at 39-34. Long Beach State then regrouped, going back up by nine, but the Hornets continued to fight back and used a 13-2 spurt to take a 53-51 lead at the 9:47 mark.
It went back-and-forth from there until Ochiltree netted five-straight points to put LBSU on top, 59-55, with 6:55 to play. The 49ers stayed out front, but Sacramento State eventually tied it up at 69-69. Sanchez then sank one of two free throws and Dooley followed with a steal and a layup to give Long Beach State a 72-69 lead at the 1:21 mark.
The Hornets came back within one and had a chance to take the lead when the 49ers sent Sacramento State's top returning scorer, Kylie Kuhns, to the line with 38 seconds remaining. Kuhns missed both attempts from the charity stripe and after the Hornets regained possession with 18 seconds on the clock, Se'nyce Parrish missed a jumper. Sacramento State was then forced to foul and Sanchez calmly converted both free throws for the final 74-71 margin.
Sacramento State shot 43.5 percent from the floor and was led by Alle Moreno, who totaled 15 points.
Long Beach State is back in action on Sunday, Nov. 11, when it welcomes Iona College to the Walter Pyramid for a 2 p.m. showdown.
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