Jan. 17, 2014
Cal Poly (8-8, 2-1 Big West) at
Long Beach State (10-7, 2-1 Big West)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 18
Time: 4 p.m. (PST)
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Arena: Walter Pyramid
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The Long Beach State women's basketball team will be looking to build off its 19-point win over UC Santa Barbara when it tangles with Cal Poly on Saturday, Jan. 18. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.
Fans can follow the 49ers all season long with every women's basketball game being broadcast live via Stretch Internet Radio on longbeachstate.com. Tyler Hendrickson is in his second year as LBSU's play-by-play announcer.
A GLANCE AT CAL POLY
Cal Poly (8-8, 2-1 BWC) suffered its first conference loss with an 81-76 defeat at Cal State Northridge on Thursday. Reigning Big West Player of the Year Molly Schlemer is averaging a double-double with a team-best 18.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Ariana Elegado has also registered 16.7 points and 4.4 assists per contest, while making a team-leading 41 threes.
Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with Cal Poly, 39-17, and has won the last three meetings. LBSU was the only team to sweep the Mustangs during the regular season last year. The 49ers are 21-5 against Cal Poly when playing in Long Beach.
FIRST TO TEN
With its triumph over UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, Long Beach State became the first team in the Big West to hit the 10-win mark this season. It is the 49ers' third-straight double-figure win campaign. They had not reached the 10-victory plateau in the three seasons prior to fifth-year head coach Jody Wynn's arrival in 2009-10.
PROTECTING THE PYRAMID
Over the last two-plus years, LBSU has been tough to beat at home. Since the start of the 2011-12 season, the 49ers have posted a 30-11 (.731) record at the Walter Pyramid. Long Beach State is 8-2 at home this year and has won its last three in the `Mid.
The 49ers are coming off a tough non-conference schedule in which they played two ranked teams in then No. 9 Cal and No. 23 Florida State. Four of LBSU's six preseason losses came to squads that were either ranked or receiving votes in the most recent AP Top 25 Poll - No. 15 Cal, No. 17 FSU, No. 19 Arizona State and San Diego (rv). Those four teams entered this week with a combined record of 55-9.
STARTING AT THE TOP
Despite its tough preseason slate, Long Beach State was the only team to start conference play with an overall record above .500. The 49ers posted a Big West-leading 8-6 mark in non-conference games. UC Irvine (7-7) and Hawai'i (6-6) were next in line at an even .500.
STEALING THE SHOW
Long Beach State leads the Big West with 11.0 steals per outing. LBSU has recorded 10 or more steals in 11 contests, including a season-high 18 against Harvard. Three 49ers - Anna Kim (T3rd), Alex Sanchez (T3rd) and Jade Wilson (6th) - also rank among the conference's individual top-10 in steals per game.
Raven Benton has two of Long Beach State's four double-doubles this season. She posted her first one of the year vs. Loyola Marymount on Nov. 23 (16 pts, 10 rebs). Benton then started off Big West play with 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in an overtime win against UC Irvine (Jan. 9). Jade Wilson also finished with 10 points and a career-best 13 boards vs. the Anteaters, while Madison Montgomery registered 10 points and 10 rebounds against Pepperdine (Nov. 30).
SPARGO FINDS HER GROOVE
After missing four games and nearly a month of practice due to an illness in December, junior Lauren Spargo (Valencia, Calif.) has finally gotten back to full strength. She has posted two-straight double-figure scoring games with 10 points at UC Davis and a career-high tying 19 points vs. UC Santa Barbara. On the season, Spargo ranks third on the squad with 9.4 ppg and 19 threes made. She has had five outings with more than one trey, including a 4-for-7 performance at San Francisco (Nov. 17), where she finished with 16 points. In addition, she made a trio of 3-pointers vs. Loyola Marymount (12 points), Pepperdine (19 points) and UC Irvine (9 points).
Freshman Raven Benton has notched a team-leading 13 double-figure scoring games, with four of those coming in the form of 20-point performances. She had back-to-back 20-point outings to close out non-conference play, draining a career-high 26 at USC (Dec. 28) and registering 22 against Denver (Jan. 5). In those two games, Benton shot 61.3 percent from the field and 63.0 percent from 3-point range. The Federal Way, Wash., native also poured in 22 points in a double-overtime victory at San Francisco and finished with 21 points in 21 minutes played vs. Harvard in the first round of the ASU Classic. Benton added 16 points in 13 minutes of action in the championship game at tournament host Arizona State, earning her all-tournament honors and the Big West Women's Basketball Player of the Week award (Dec. 9). For the season, Benton is tops on the squad in scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounding (5.6 rpg). In addition, she has gotten herself to the free throw line a team-high 120 times where she has made 67.5 percent of her attempts.
MORE FROM THE FRESHMEN
Three of Long Beach State's four freshmen have reached double digits in points this season. In addition to Raven Benton's aforementioned performances, both Anna Kim and Madison Montgomery have five double-figure scoring games. Kim registered a career-best 22 points vs. Denver, while Montgomery had a career-high 16 against the Pioneers and again vs. UC Santa Barbara.
Jade Wilson is Long Beach State's only senior and she is also the only 49er to have started every game this year. She had her best showing to date in the Big West opener against UC Irvine with a season-best 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. It was her first career double-double at The Beach. The Tempe, Ariz., native also registered eight points and seven rebounds in wins at San Francisco and vs. Harvard, and finished with a team-best seven boards and two steals at Pac-12 foes Cal and Arizona State. On the season, Wilson is averaging 4.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals per contest.
FOR THE RECORD
Ella Clark ranks among the 49er all-time career leaders in blocks (T5th, 145) and 3-pointers made (T9th, 93). Lauren Spargo is also tied for seventh with 98 career threes made. In addition, the duo ranks among the top-10 in 3-point field goals attempted.
Long Beach State will have just one game next week as it travels to Cal State Northridge for a 4 p.m. Big West showdown on Saturday, Jan. 25.
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