March 10, 2014
IRVINE, Calif. - Four 49ers have been named to the All-Big West Women's Basketball Team the conference office announced Monday morning. Juniors Lauren Spargo and Ella Clark both earned honorable mention recognition, while Raven Benton and Anna Kim were selected to the five-member All-Freshman Team.
Lauren Spargo, a 5-11 guard from Santa Clarita, Calif., is Long Beach State's leading scorer in Big West play with 11.3 points per outing. Despite missing one game with an illness, she still recorded a team-high 24 3-pointers in 15 regular-season league contests. Spargo had her best offensive showing of the year against Cal Poly, where she had a career-high 20 points and five assists. Two days earlier, Spargo netted a then career-high tying 19 points vs. UC Santa Barbara. On the season, she has 13 double-digit scoring performances and is averaging 10.2 points per outing. She also ranks fifth on the LBSU career charts with 116 threes made.
Ella Clark (London, England) has stepped up her offensive production in the second half of the conference season as she has reached double figures in six of the last seven games. The 6-foot-3 forward is averaging 13.7 points and shooting 50 percent from the field during that stretch. She drained a career-high 23 points in a win at Cal Poly and later matched that total at UC Riverside in the regular-season finale. On the year, Clark is tops on the squad and ranks third in the Big West with 1.2 blocks per game, while she is also averaging 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest. In addition, she is among the all-time top-10 in program history with 153 career blocks (5th) and 110 threes made (7th).
This was the first career All-Big West honor for both Spargo and Clark.
Guards Raven Benton and Anna Kim were also named to the Big West All-Freshman Team. The two were the only freshmen to receive the Big West Player of the Week award this season as Benton claimed the honor on Dec. 9 and Kim on Jan. 6.
Benton is the 49ers' overall leading scorer (12.3 ppg), while she also ranks second on the squad in rebounding (5.5 rpg). The Federal, Way, Wash., native has a team-leading 19 double-figure scoring games, four 20-plus point performances, and three double-doubles. Two of those double-doubles came in league play as she totaled 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds vs. UC Irvine, and 17 points and 10 boards at UC Santa Barbara. She closed out non-conference action with back-to-back 20-point games, draining a career-high 26 at USC before compiling 22 vs. Denver.
Kim has been a regular starter for Long Beach State since mid-December. She ranks first in the Big West in 3-point field goal percentage (43.4) and is 10th in steals (1.3/game). The Fullerton, Calif., native has 11 double-figure scoring games, including a career-high 22 vs. Denver. She also finished with 20 points at Hawai'i and 17 points vs. Cal Poly. In Big West games, Kim is averaging 8.4 points and 2.4 assists per outing, while shooting 46 percent from the field and 47.5 percent from behind the arc.
Cal State Northridge's Ashlee Guay was selected as the Big West Player of the Year, while Simone DeCoud of UC Riverside was tabbed the Big West Freshman of the Year. CSUN's Jason Flowers also claimed the Big West Coach of the Year award.
The 49ers finished the regular season with a 16-14 overall record, matching its win total from last year.
Long Beach State earned the sixth seed in the 2014 Big West Tournament and will begin the postseason with a first-round game against No. 7 Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, March 11. Tip-off is slated for 8:30 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid and will be broadcast on ESPN3.
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