Nov. 26, 2011
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The Long Beach State women's basketball team was unable to hold off a late run by the Gaels as it dropped a close 78-73 decision to Iona College Saturday evening at Hynes Center.
The 49ers led by nine with just over nine minutes to play, but Iona rallied and sank six crucial free throws down the stretch for the win.
LBSU (2-4) shot a season-high 44.1 percent from the field and committed only nine turnovers, but faltered on the boards as it was out rebounded, 50-28.
Freshman Lauren Spargo led the 49ers with 16 points, all of which came in the first half. Senior Tipesa Moorer finished with 13 points, while sophomores Hallie Meneses and Ella Clark chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Meneses added a game-high seven assists and freshman Chantel Dooley grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.
Iona (4-2) took an early 4-0 lead before Clark sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 18:30 mark. The 49ers trailed by no more than five until they eventually tied it up at 11-11 on a Spargo 3-pointer with 14:13 on the clock.
The Gaels would pull back ahead, 21-15, but LBSU responded with a 15-8 run, capped by a Meneses jumper, to take its first lead of the night at 30-29. The 49ers went on to outscore Iona, 8-3, over the final four minutes to own a 38-32 cushion at the break.
Long Beach State made 45.7 percent of its shots in the first half and was led by Spargo, who totaled 16 points on a 6-for-9 performance from the field. She was also 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.
LBSU scored the first six points of the second period to take a 10-point advantage and went up by 13 after Moorer completed a three-point play at the 17:08 mark. The Gaels then came storming back as they used a 17-6 spurt to close the gap to 55-53 with 10:36 to play.
Freshman Alex Sanchez eventually ended a three-minute scoring drought with a 3-pointer and Long Beach State proceeded to rebuild its lead to nine before Iona responded once again, evening the score at 62-62 with 6:02 remaining.
The Gaels took their first lead since late in the first half with 5:01 to play and pulled ahead by four before Meneses drained back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it up at 72-72 with 1:22 on the clock. Iona was able to hold on in the end, however, as it went 6-for-6 from the free throw line over the final minute for the 78-73 victory.
Kristina Ford paced Iona with a double-double, registering 18 points and 13 rebounds. Damika Martinez also totaled a game-high 19 points, while Diana Hubbard had 15.
Long Beach State closes out its seven-game road stretch next weekend when it heads to the Pacific Northwest for non-conference games at Seattle (Dec. 2) and Washington (Dec. 4).
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