Long Beach State Drops Contest to Illinois State at Beach Classic
The Beach have a pair of double-figure scorers in the loss
LONG BEACH -- The Long Beach State women's basketball team suffered a loss against Illinois State to start the Beach Classic. Despite a solid first half, the Beach were unable to overcome a fourth quarter in which they shot just 16.7 percent as they fell by a score of 59-51 to the Redbirds.
Long Beach State (2-9) started the game off well as it opened the game with a 6-0 lead and held Illinois State (5-5) to just 12.5 percent shooting (2-for-16) in the first quarter. The Beach were solid offensively in the opening 10 minutes as they connected on 6-of-15 field goal attempts and outscored the Redbirds 14-7.
The second quarter saw Illinois State come alive as its offense shot 50.0 percent from the field (7-for-14) and tallied 16 points to Long Beach State's 10. With 4:08 on the clock, the Beach's once 11-point lead had been whittled down to two (19-17). The Redbirds eventually evened the score at 19-all, before taking a 21-19 lead. However, their lead was short-lived as Naomi Hunt drained a three to give LBSU back the lead. The Beach would go on to take a one-point (24-23) advantage into the locker room at halftime.
LBSU got its offensive groove back in the third quarter as the Beach outscored the Redbirds 17-10. The third quarter saw Jessica Gertz led the way with eight points as she connected on a pair of threes and sun both free throws. Gertz was solid on both sides of the ball in the frame and she also swiped three of her four total steals in the third.
Gertz drained her final three of the third quarter with just six seconds left to play, sending the Beach into the fourth quarter with a 41-33 lead.
With an eight point advantage over Illinois State, LBSU's offense went cold. The Beach were limited to just 16.7 percent (3-of-18) shooting from the field and just 2-for-6 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Illinois State heated up at the right time as the Redbirds turned in their best offensive showing of the game in the final 10 minutes of action, shooting 53.8 percent (7-for-13) from the field, 50 percent (2-for-4) from long distance, and 83.3 percent (10-for-12) from the line. The Beach were outscored 26-10 in the final quarter and lost by eight points.
The Beach received a pair of double-figure showings from freshman guard Shanaijah Davison (16 points) and Gertz (14 points). Gertz led the team with four steals, while adding a pair of rebounds, and one assists. Davison would finish with six rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Senior Cecily Wilson led the Beach in rebounding with her third double-rebounding game of the season with 10 boards. She also added four points, three steals, and two assists. Freshman Ma'Qhi Berry had another solid outing with seven points, three steals, two assists and one block.
A force on defense for Long Beach State was freshman Emma Merriweather who collected a career-high four blocks, while adding five rebounds and four points.
For Illinois State, the Redbirds were led by Hannah Green and Simone Goods. Green led all scorers with 19 points, while Good tallied 18 and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Joining Green with the team lead in rebounding was Viria Livingston, who also had 11. Lastly, Katrina Beck added 14 points to go along with six rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
Long Beach State will be back in action on Thursday, Dec. 21 on the final day of the Beach Classic. The Beach will play the loser of the New Mexico State-Northeastern game at 12 noon.
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