Jan. 31, 2012
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team begins the second half of its Big West slate on the road this week as it travels to UC Irvine and UC Riverside.
The 49ers, who are in search of their first conference road win, will face the Anteaters on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 5 p.m. at Bren Events Center. LBSU then makes its way to UCR's Student Recreation Center on Saturday, Feb. 4, for a 3 p.m. showdown with the Highlanders.
Fans can follow the 49ers all season long with every women's basketball game being broadcast live via Stretch Internet Radio on longbeachstate.com. David Bagga is LBSU's play-by-play announcer.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS
UC Irvine (9-12, 5-3 Big West) suffered a pair of home losses last week, falling to Seattle, 86-58, and UC Riverside, 70-67. Kassandra McCalister has paced the Anteaters with 11.7 points per game and a Big West leading 4.2 assists per contest. Jazmyne White and Methlyn Onogomuho have also averaged a team-best 6.0 rebounds per outing.
Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with UC Irvine, 49-10. The 49ers have won the last two meetings, including a 63-51 victory at the Walter Pyramid on Dec. 31, 2011. LBSU has also prevailed in six of the last 10 outings and is 24-3 when playing in Irvine.
A GLANCE AT UC RIVERSIDE
After starting off conference play with six straight losses, UC Riverside (4-16, 2-6 Big West) has posted two consecutive victories with a 69-65 win over Cal State Fullerton and a 70-67 triumph at UC Irvine. Tre'Shonti Nottingham leads the Highlanders and ranks third in the Big West with 15.2 points per game. She is also tops on the team with 65 assists (3.6/game). Natasha Hadley has chipped in 12.6 points per outing, while Jessica Ogunnorin is the team's leading rebounder with 6.9 boards per contest.
Long Beach State trails in its all-time series with UC Riverside, 14-12, but claimed the most recent meeting with a 70-59 victory at the Walter Pyramid on Dec. 29, 2011. LBSU is 5-7 when playing in Riverside.
MOORER DOUBLES UP
Senior Tipesa Moorer (Harbor City, Calif.) has reached double figures in scoring in 17 of Long Beach State's 21 games. She was named the Big West Player of the Week on Jan. 23, after leading the 49ers to a pair of key conference wins with 14 points against UC Santa Barbara and 16 points vs. Cal Poly.
Earlier in the season, Moorer poured in a career-high 24 points on a 10-for-14 shooting performance at UC Davis (Jan. 14). She has also registered two double-doubles with 18 points and 11 rebounds in an overtime win against Nevada, and 13 points and 11 boards in the opener vs. Utah Valley. Moorer was named to the Beach Classic All-Tournament Team after propelling LBSU into the championship game. On the year, she is tops on the squad and ranks fifth in the Big West with 12.7 points per outing.
Redshirt freshman Alex Sanchez is tops on the team with 5.3 rebounds per game and also ranks second on the squad in scoring (9.0 ppg) and assists (3.2 apg). The Anaheim native has reached double figures 11 times with a career-high 20 points at Washington. She came close to matching that total with 18 points (8-for-10) vs. UC Irvine. Sanchez notched her first double-double of her 49er career with 17 points and 10 rebounds at Sacramento State. She also had a career-best eight assists in a win over Western Michigan.
BACK AND BETTER
After being sidelined for eight games with an injury, freshman Devin Hudson has returned to the lineup with a newfound confidence. She had a breakout performance at Pacific and UC Davis three weekends ago. Against the Tigers, she went 3-for-4 from the field to finish with six points, while also pulling down five rebounds. The Ontario, Calif., native then earned her first start two days later at UC Davis and made the most of the opportunity, registering a double-double with a career-best 14 points and 12 rebounds. She also compiled 10 boards against UC Santa Barbara and had 11 points vs. Cal Poly. In the five games since her return to the lineup, Hudson is averaging 8.2 points and 7.6 rebounds.
MCDONALD HITS THE MARK
Junior Jhakia McDonald netted a career-high 14 points on a 4-for-6 shooting performance in a 74-67 win over Cal Poly. She sparked the 49ers late in the game, making a couple key defensive plays and sinking 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch. McDonald's previous best was 12 points vs. Cal State Northridge on Jan. 7. The Anaheim native also reached double figures at Columbia with 11 points. On the season, McDonald is averaging 5.5 points per game.
SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
Junior Mary Ochiltree has provided a steady presence for the 49ers all season as she is third on the team with 7.2 points per contest. The Lake Stevens, Wash., native produced a streak of five-straight games from Dec. 16-31, in which she reached double figures. Over that span, she averaged 13 points and made 64.1 percent of her shots. Ochiltree drained a season-high 17 points, making eight field goals on 12 attempts, in a 76-56 victory against Western Michigan. She also totaled 13 points vs. Wichita State in the Beach Classic championship game, earning her all-tournament honors. Ochiltree kept the hot hand in the Big West opener against UC Riverside as she totaled 14 points on a 5-for-6 performance from the field.
SPARGO PROVIDES THE SPARK
Freshman Lauren Spargo has provided a spark off the bench as she is averaging 7.1 points per game. She drained three 3-pointers en route to a game-high 15 points against Cal State Northridge on Jan. 7. Earlier in the season, Spargo matched her career best with 16 points in a 66-52 victory over Dartmouth (Dec. 16). With the 49ers trailing by seven, Spargo entered the game and scored eight unanswered points to give LBSU the lead for good. Two days later, the Santa Clarita native set a new career high with 18 points in a 76-56 win over Western Michigan. She went 7-for-15 from the field with four 3-pointers. Her efforts earned her Big West Player of the Week honors on Dec. 19. Spargo also reached double figures with 16 points at Iona.
Long Beach State closes out its four-game road stretch at Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Feb. 11. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. at The Matadome.
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