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LBSU rally falls short in 58-52 loss at Loyola Marymount

Sophomore Bianka Balthazar scored a team-high 14 points in a 58-52 loss at Loyola Marymount.

Nov. 15, 2012

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After falling behind by 16 early in the second half, the Long Beach State women's basketball team rallied to pull back within three, but ultimately fell, 58-52, to Loyola Marymount Thursday evening at Gersten Pavilion.

The 49ers shot 40.4 percent from the field, while holding the Lions to 32.9 percent, but LMU owned a lopsided advantage in offensive rebounds (21-to-7), which led to 17 second-chance points. LBSU also committed 24 turnovers.

Sophomore Bianka Balthazar led the 49ers with 14 points on a 6-for-11 shooting performance. Balthazar and sophomore Alex Sanchez also grabbed a team-best nine rebounds each.

Long Beach State (1-2) struck first, but LMU answered with six-straight points to take the lead, which it held for the remainder of the game. The Lions went up by as many as nine (17-8), before Balthazar came off the bench to spark the 49ers. Balthazar had three quick baskets to close the gap to 18-14 at the 10:28 mark.

Loyola Marymount (1-2) went back up by seven, but the 49ers responded with a 5-2 run, capped by a Balthazar jumper, to make it 25-21 with just under three minutes to play. The Lions then finished the half on a 6-3 spurt of its own to hold a 31-24 advantage at the break.

Balthazar paced Long Beach State with nine points in the first half.

Senior Mary Ochiltree drained the first 3-pointer of the game to start the second half, cutting the deficit to 31-27, but LMU then used an 18-6 run to open up its largest lead of the night at 49-33 with 12:04 to play. The 49ers then regrouped and outscored the Lions, 13-2, over the next seven-plus minutes to trail by five at 53-48.

Loyola Marymount eventually ended a five-minute scoring drought at the 2:57 mark, but Balthazar and Sanchez then hit back-to-back jumpers to make it 55-52 with 1:01 on the clock. Those were the final points LBSU would score, however, as LMU hung on for the 58-52 win.

Alex Cowling led Loyola Maryomount with 14 points, while Mackenzie Kerins finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid on Sunday, Nov. 18, when it plays host to Pac-12 foe Washington at 2 p.m.



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