Nov. 11, 2012
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team fought back from an 11-point deficit in the first half, but saw its comeback bid stopped just short as Iona hit a buzzer beater for the 60-58 win Sunday afternoon at the Walter Pyramid.
Sophomore Alex Sanchez, who played just five minutes in the first half due to early foul trouble, led the 49ers with a team-high 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Classmate Chantel Dooley added 11 points and three steals. As a team, LBSU shot 34.4 percent from the floor and was outrebounded, 43-35.
"We are a much better team with Alex (Sanchez) on the floor," Long Beach State head coach Jody Wynn said. "Unfortunately, we weren't able to step up in her absence in the first half. In the second half, she did a great job of leading this team, but we just didn't have enough. We are not a one-man or two-man show, and we didn't have a collective team effort tonight."
After Sanchez sank a pair of free throws to knot the score at 58-58 with 1:11 remaining, the 49ers got a defensive stop as Dooley stole an inbounds pass with 41 seconds on the clock. LBSU called a timeout but was unable to get a good look as Sanchez's attempt with the shot clock winding down was blocked and recovered by Iona.
The Gaels then took their final timeout and after Damika Martinez's 12-foot jumper grazed the front of the rim, Joy Adams snuck in to grab the offensive board and put it back up and in right before the buzzer sounded.
It went back-and-forth early in the game with three lead changes and two tie scores in the first seven minutes. Long Beach State struck first with a Sanchez 3-pointer at the 18:45 mark, but Iona eventually opened up a five-point advantage. After a put-back by senior Mary Ochiltree cut the deficit to 16-13, the Gaels scored eight unanswered points to pull ahead, 24-13, with 5:48 to go.
LBSU (1-1) responded and closed out the half on a 9-5 run, which ended with a 3-pointer from Dooley, to head into the break down by seven (29-22).
Iona shot 46.2 percent from the field in the first period, while holding Long Beach State to 28.1 percent. Sanchez and Dooley led the way with five points each.
The 49ers picked up right where they left off before intermission as they started the second half on a 10-4 spurt, capped by a Sigrid Skorpen 3-pointer, to trail by one at 33-32 with 15:38 to play. Just under a minute later, LBSU tied it up at 34-34 and then regained the lead at 38-36 on a Jade Wilson jumper at the 13:27 mark. The two teams then traded points with five lead changes over the next five-plus minutes before Iona went on top, 51-46.
Long Beach State stayed composed and evened the score at 53-53 with just over three minutes remaining. The Gaels would go back up by four before Sanchez's free throws tied it back up at 58-58.
Iona (2-0) posted a 39.7 field goal percentage on the afternoon and was paced by Martinez's game-high 22 points. Adams also registered a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Long Beach State returns to the hardwood on Thursday, Nov. 15, when it makes the short trip to Loyola Marymount for a 7 p.m. non-conference showdown.
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