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Long Beach State Comes up Short in 74-67 Overtime Thriller at Arizona State
Junior Alex Sanchez led the 49ers with a career-high 24 points in the championship game of the ASU Classic.

Junior Alex Sanchez led the 49ers with a career-high 24 points in the championship game of the ASU Classic.

Dec. 8, 2013

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TEMPE, Ariz. - The Long Beach State women's basketball team dropped a 74-67 overtime thriller to tournament host Arizona State in the championship game of the ASU Classic Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

Junior Alex Sanchez led LBSU as she went 10-for-15 from the floor for a career-high 24 points. Freshman Raven Benton also registered her sixth-straight double-figure scoring game with 16 points on a 6-of-9 shooting performance. Benton was named to the all-tournament team.

Senior Jade Wilson chipped in seven points and seven rebounds, while junior Ella Clark had seven points and six boards.

The 49ers shot 45.8 percent from the field, but committed a season-high 27 turnovers and were outrebounded, 46-31.

Long Beach State, which was off to its best start since 1991-92, saw its five-game win streak snapped as it dropped to 5-3 overall. Arizona State (8-1), which was receiving votes in the latest AP and USA Today Coaches Polls, has now won seven in a row.

A day after their 23-point comeback win against Harvard, the 49ers once again put together a late rally, this time erasing a seven-point deficit in the final six minutes of regulation. On the heels of a 9-2 run, LBSU knotted it up at 55-55 with a jumper by Anna Kim at the 2:12 mark. After trading baskets, the Sun Devils would pull ahead 59-57 on a pair of made free throws with 9.5 seconds left.

Long Beach State pushed the ball up the floor and after a missed jumper by Clark, Benton tied up an ASU player on the rebound, allowing the 49ers to keep possession with the arrow in their favor. Then, with 1.1 ticks on the clock, Sanchez inbounded the ball to Clark for a wide-open layup at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

With only nine players suited up for back-to-back contests, LBSU showed some fatigue in the extra period as Arizona State scored the first seven points to go up, 66-59, with 3:18 remaining. A 3-pointer by Clark kept it close, but ASU responded with consecutive layups and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line down the stretch to hold on for the 74-67 victory.

In the first half, Long Beach State raced out to an early 14-8 lead following a layup by Jewelyn Sawyer at the 13:12 mark. Sanchez powered the strong start with eight points in the first five-plus minutes.

ASU would eventually tie it up at 16-16 and continued on a 15-4 run that put the Sun Devils up, 23-18, with 6:39 remaining. A 3-pointer by Sanchez quickly cut the 49er deficit to two, but Arizona State stayed out front and would pull ahead by seven before LBSU responded with an 8-2 spurt to make it 30-29 with under a minute to play. The home team was able to increase its cushion slightly before the end of the half as it held a 32-29 edge at intermission.

The 49ers came out strong in the second period, using a 7-2 run to reclaim the lead at 37-34 with 17:50 to play. The Sun Devils then proceeded to score five unanswered to go on top 39-37. The two teams would go back and forth with two more lead changes and a couple of tie scores before ASU pulled ahead by seven (53-46) with 6:20 left in regulation.

Sophie Brunner paced Arizona State with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Kelsey Moos also had 13 points and six boards.

Long Beach State returns to the friendly confines of the Walter Pyramid on Friday, Dec. 13, when it opens a four-game homestand with a 7 p.m. contest against San Diego.