Nov. 11, 2011
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team pulled away in the second half and cruised to a 75-43 win over Utah Valley in both teams' season opener Friday evening in front of 959 fans at the Walter Pyramid.
The 49ers outscored the Wolverines, 42-19, over the final 20 minutes to earn their second season-opening victory in the last three years. The 32-point win is also LBSU's largest margin of victory since a 102-62 triumph over Cal State Northridge on Jan. 15, 2006.
Long Beach State (1-0) shot 39.7 percent from the field, and with a pressure defense, it held UVU to just 22.6 percent.
Senior Tipesa Moorer led LBSU with her second career double-double as she registered 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Sophomore Ella Clark, who established a 49er freshman record with 55 blocks last year, swatted away a career-best seven shots which ties her for third in the program's single-game history. She also tied her career-high with 16 points and pulled down eight boards.
Freshman Bianka Balthazar chipped in 11 points, while classmate Alex Sanchez finished with five points, seven rebounds and six assists. Freshmen Chantel Dooley and Lauren Spargo added nine points apiece.
Utah Valley (0-1) held the early advantage and went up 8-3 at the 15:38 mark, but the 49ers chipped away and took their first lead of the game at 12-11 on a free throw by Hallie Meneses just over seven minutes later. After the Wolverines regained the edge, LBSU proceeded to go on a 14-5 run, capped by a Mary Ochiltree layup, to own a nine-point advantage (30-22) with 2:24 to play.
UVU cut the deficit to six before Clark sank a 3-pointer to put the 49ers up, 33-24, at the break.
Long Beach State came out on fire in the second period, scoring seven unanswered points as Clark and Moorer made back-to-back jumpers before Clark drained her second three of the game. The 49ers then went into cruise control as they led by double figures the rest of the way.
The Wolverines pulled within 11 points at the 15:12 mark, but LBSU stayed strong and closed out the game on a 29-8 run for the final 75-43 margin. The 49er defense did not allow a field goal for over 14 minutes as Utah Valley finished the second half going a dismal 5-for-27 from the field.
Jenna Johnson paced UVU with 14 points, while Sammie Jensen had 11.
Long Beach State will hit the road for its next seven games, beginning with a trip to BIG EAST foe Syracuse on Sunday, Nov. 13. Tip-off is set for 10 a.m. (PST) at the Carrier Dome.
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