Dec. 20, 2013
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team showed how difficult they can be to stop on the offensive end with five players scoring in double figures in a 73-61 victory over Richmond in the first round of the Beach Classic Friday evening at the Walter Pyramid.
LBSU, which won its second consecutive game, improved to 7-4 overall and 5-1 at home. Richmond dropped to 5-6 on the season.
Junior Hallie Meneses led the way with her second-straight double-digit game as she drained a season-high 17 points. Meneses was 7-of-9 from the floor with three 3-pointers.
Junior Alex Sanchez also had 14 points on a 7-for-8 shooting performance, while dishing out a game-high six assists. Junior Ella Clark added 11 points, five rebounds, four blocks and three assists. Freshman Madison Montgomery chipped in 11 points, and freshman Raven Benton had 10 points and a team-best nine boards. Benton extended her streak of double-figure scoring games to nine.
The 49ers posted a 45.2 field goal percentage and were 80.0 percent from the free throw line. They also tied their season high with 19 assists.
Long Beach State never trailed in the game, but the two teams went back-and-forth over the first four minutes. LBSU then went on to score seven unanswered to pull ahead, 11-4, at the 13:05 mark. Richmond would cut the deficit to one at 13-12, before the 49ers responded with an 8-2 run, capped by a Sanchez layup, to take a 21-14 lead with 5:56 remaining.
The Spiders then hit a 3-pointer, and followed with a jumper, to make it 21-19, but Long Beach State had an answer once again, this time going up, 28-20, on a baseline jumper from Jewelyn Sawyer with 1:08 to play. The visitors were able to outscore LBSU, 5-2, over the final minute as the 49ers held a 30-25 cushion at intermission.
After Richmond opened the second period with a quick basket, Long Beach State went on a 9-0 spurt, which ended with a three-point play by Sawyer, to take a 39-27 lead with 16:28 remaining. The Spiders closed the gap to six, but that was the closest they would get as back-to-back 3-pointers from Meneses started a 10-3 run that put LBSU on top, 56-43, with 8:19 to go.
Long Beach State cruised the rest of the way, going up by as many as 14 points en route to the 73-61 win.
Kristina King led the Spiders with 17 points, while Genevieve Okoro had 13 points and seven rebounds. Richmond finished the evening shooting just 30.3 percent from the floor.
Long Beach State will play either Florida State or Pacific in the Beach Classic championship game tomorrow at approximately 5 p.m. (PST).
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