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49ers Look to Build Off First Big West Road Win, Travel to UCR for Saturday Contest

The 49ers will head to UC Riverside for a 5 p.m. Big West game on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Feb. 12, 2013

Long Beach State (13-11, 6-6 Big West) at
UC Riverside (11-11, 4-7 Big West)
Saturday, Feb. 16
Time: 5 p.m. (PST)
Location: SRC Arena
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The Long Beach State women's basketball team will be looking to build off its first Big West road win when it heads to UC Riverside on Saturday, Feb. 16, for a 5 p.m. tilt 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 Tyler Hendrickson is LBSU's play-by-play announcer.

UC Riverside dropped to 11-11 overall and 4-7 in Big West action after suffering a 58-56 defeat to UC Irvine on Thursday. Tre'Shonti Nottingham leads the Highlanders and the conference with 17.8 points per game. Brittany Crain (12.8) and Natasha Hadley (11.0) are also averaging double figures, while Hadley is tops on the team with 6.4 rebounds per outing.

Long Beach State trails in its all-time series with UC Riverside, 16-12. The Highlanders have won the last two, including a narrow 50-49 victory at the Walter Pyramid on Jan. 17. In that game, Devin Hudson led the 49ers with 10 points and a career-best 15 rebounds. Nottingham, who made the game-winning free throw with 2.0 seconds left, anchored UCR with a game-high 18 points and 10 boards.

A 49er victory over UC Riverside on Saturday will mean:
- LBSU will have won consecutive true road games for the first time since the 2009-10 season when the 49ers defeated Pacific (Feb. 20) and UC Riverside (March 6).
- LBSU will have matched its most victories (14) in a season under the direction of fourth-year head coach Jody Wynn.
- LBSU will be back over .500 in conference play at 7-6.

In Long Beach State's first 10 Big West games, it got to the foul line about 19 times per contest. The 49ers have drastically increased that number over their last two outings, averaging approximately 33 free throw attempts, as they went to the line a season-high 38 times against Cal State Northridge (Feb. 9) and 29 times at Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 14). Alex Sanchez has led the charge from the charity stripe, where she has converted 13 in a row. Her last miss came against UC Irvine on Jan. 26.

Senior Mary Ochiltree is currently third in program history in career 3-point field goal percentage (37.7). Sophomore Ella Clark is also eighth among the 49er all-time leaders with 113 career blocks, while classmate Lauren Spargo ranks 10th with 242 3-point field goals attempted.

Sophomore Alex Sanchez has continued to produce in every aspect on the court. She leads the team with 10.5 points and 3.8 assists per game, while ranking second with 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per outing. Sanchez, who notched a season-high 19 points at Utah Valley, has reached double figures in scoring in 13 games. She has led LBSU in the points column 10 times and has finished tops on the squad in assists on 18 occasions.

Sophomore Devin Hudson has registered a team-best five double-doubles on the season. The Ontario, Calif., native had back-to-back double-doubles with 10 points and a career-high 15 rebounds vs. UC Riverside (Jan. 17), and a career-best 17 points and 14 boards against Cal State Fullerton (Jan. 19). Hudson has led LBSU on the glass 16 times, corralling at least 10 rebounds on eight occasions. She has also scored in double figures in six of the last 10 games. Hudson is averaging 10.3 points and 9.1 rebounds in Big West contests.

Ella Clark, who was granted a medical redshirt last season, is working her way back in to top shape. After averaging 6.7 points over the first nine contests, Clark sparked the 49ers over a season-long five-game win streak (Dec. 20-Jan. 5), registering 11.0 points per outing during that stretch. The London, England, native was named the MVP of the Beach Classic after draining 16 points against Canisius, and totaling 14 points and a career-best six assists vs. Sam Houston State. She also recently had a career-high 11 rebounds at Pacific (Feb. 2) and scored a season-best 17 points vs. Hawai'i (Feb. 7). On the season, Clark is tops on the team with 40 blocks, while ranking third in rebounding (4.6 rpg) and fourth in scoring (7.5 ppg).

Sophomore Lauren Spargo is tops on the team with 32 3-pointers made. She has more than one trey in nine games, including a career-high four against Washington (13 points) and Canisius (14 points). Spargo has reached double figures in scoring in four of the last six outings with a season-high 16 points vs. UC Irvine on Jan. 26. The Santa Clarita, Calif., native has made 71 shots from long distance in her one-plus year career at LBSU, which puts her 12 away from breaking into the 49er all-time records.

Sophomore Bianka Balthazar has reached double figures in scoring in 10 games, including three of the last five contests (16 pts at UC Davis, 12 pts at Pacific, 11 pts vs. Cal State Northridge). She poured in a career-high 17 points on a 6-for-9 shooting performance in a 79-50 win over Columbia, and later matched that point total at Hawai'i. On the season, she ranks second on the team with 9.5 points per outing.

Long Beach State continues its local road trip next week when it heads to UC Irvine for a 7 p.m. game on Thursday, Feb. 21.



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