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LBSU edges Canisius 72-67 in OT; Advances to Beach Classic championship game

Sophomore Ella Clark had a season-high 16 points to lead the 49ers to a 72-67 win over Canisius in the first game of the Beach Classic.

Dec. 20, 2012

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LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team edged Canisius College, 72-67, in overtime in the first game of the third annual Beach Classic Thursday evening at the Walter Pyramid.

It was LBSU's first overtime game of the year and first since a 75-72 double-overtime win at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 11, 2012.

The 49ers shot 35.5 percent from the floor and were 12-of-26 (46.2 percent) from 3-point range.

Sophomore Ella Clark led the way with a season-high 16 points. Sophomore Lauren Spargo also had a season-best 14 points, while classmate Chantel Dooley added 10 points. Clark and Spargo finished with four 3-pointers each.

Long Beach State (5-5) had two players with double figures in rebounds as senior Mary Ochiltree and sophomore Devin Hudson both had 10 boards. It was a career high for Ochiltree as she was also one point away from a double-double (nine points).

Clark got LBSU on the board first with a 3-pointer at the 18:16 mark. The 49ers would then go up, 5-3, on an Alex Sanchez put back before Canisius went on a 21-8 run over a seven-plus minute span to pull ahead 24-13 with 8:29 to play.

Long Beach State responded with an 8-2 spurt of its own, capped by a three from Spargo, to cut the deficit to 26-21, but the Golden Griffins proceeded to take their largest lead of the evening at 37-22. Canisius stayed out front by double digits for the remainder of the half as an Ochiltree 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds on the clock made it 41-30 at the break.

LBSU shot an impressive 42.3 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from 3-point range, but the Golden Griffins were even better in the first half with a 53.6 field goal percentage and a 7-for-13 (53.8 percent) performance from behind the arc.

The 49ers slowly chipped away in the second period, going on an 8-2 run, which ended with a three from Dooley, to trail by six. The two teams then traded points until Spargo scored five unanswered, making it 50-47 at the 8:49 mark.

Canisius went back on top by eight before Clark nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner. Ochiltree then stole the ensuing inbounds pass and found Sanchez for a layup to bring LBSU within one at 55-54 with 4:06 on the clock.

After the Golden Griffins connected on a jumper, Spargo made her fourth three of the game to knot it up at 57-57 with 2:03 to play. That score would hold until the end of regulation, putting the 49ers in unfamiliar territory with their first overtime game of the year.

Clark started the extra period off with a 3-pointer, giving Long Beach State its first lead since the 17:30 mark of the first half. The 49ers never relinquished that lead as Dooley sank a pair of free throws with 2:59 left after Canisius had pulled within one.

The Golden Griffins would cut the deficit to three with 1:18 to play, but Clark hit another big 3-pointer to give LBSU a six-point advantage with under a minute remaining. Canisius would again come within three, but Dooley sealed the 72-67 victory with two more free throws.

Canisius (2-7) finished the evening shooting 39.3 percent, including 37.5 percent from long distance. Kayla Hoohuli had a game-high 18 points, while Ashley Durham had 14 points.

Long Beach State advances to the championship game of the Beach Classic for the second consecutive year. The 49ers will face Sam Houston State in the title match Friday (Dec. 21) at 7 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.



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