Cold-Shooting Hampers the Beach in Loss at NJIT
Wilson and Merriweather each recorded a team-best 12 points in setback
NEWARK, N.J. – Long Beach State shot under 30 percent for the first three quarters as the Beach suffered a 73-57 loss to NJIT in the opening game of the NJIT Christmas Tournament.
Long Beach State (2-11) was led offensively by senior Cecily Wilson and freshman Emma Merriweather who each tallied 12 points in the contest. Sophomore Alzena Henry had her best game of the season with a nine-rebound, eight-point effort as she led the Beach on boards. Wilson and Martina McCowan teamed up on defense and each collected five steals.
NJIT (2-11), meanwhile, had four players reach double-figures as they were led by Dez Allen’s 16-point performance. Kelly Guarino (15 points), Ellyn Stoll (14 points), and Tatianna Torres (13 points) rounded out the Highlanders’ double-figure scorers.
Both teams started out slow offensively as the score was 8-7 in favor of NJIT at 3:21 for the first media timeout. The Beach managed to tie the game twice following the break in action, but a three by Guarino gave the Highlanders the lead (14-11) heading into the second quarter. The Beach tallied another 11 points in the second quarter and held the Highlanders to just 12 points as Long Beach State went into the locker room at halftime down by four (26-22).
LBSU shot 28.1 percent (9-for-32) from the field and just 9.1 percent (1-for-11) from long distance in the first half, however, NJIT was only able to connect on 10-of-28 from the field, and was 1-for-11 from three-point range as that kept the Beach within striking distance.
The Highlanders broke out of their offensive slump in the third quarter as they used a 10-0 run to jump out in front of the Beach 41-29 forcing a Long Beach State timeout. From their NJIT pushed its lead up to 17 (48-31) in the frame as the Beach went into the final quarter trailing 50-35.
The fourth quarter began like the first three as the Beach offensively. NJIT led Long Beach State by as many as 26 points before the Beach finally heated up. After hitting their stride, the Beach cut the Highlanders’ lead down to 14 and ended up shooting 50 percent (8-for-16) from the field and 60 percent (3-for-5) from long distance. Despite scoring 22 points in the frame – matching its first half points total – the damage had been done and the Beach fell to the Highlanders by a score of 73-57.
Long Beach State held the edge in steals (17-10), assists (14-11) and blocks (3-2), while forcing NJIT into 21 turnovers. However, the Highlanders held the advantage in rebounding as they out-rebounded Long Beach State 42-36 and forced the Beach into 30 fouls.
Long Beach State looks to bounce back tomorrow, when it plays in the consolation game against either Penn or VCU at 12 p.m. (PT).
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