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LBSU Women's Hoops Set to Host Utah in WNIT First-Round Game on Wednesday

The 49ers will host Utah in a WNIT first-round game at the Walter Pyramid on Wednesday.

March 19, 2013

Utah (18-13) at
Long Beach State (16-15)
Wednesday, March 20
Time: 7 p.m. (PDT)
Location: Walter Pyramid
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The Long Beach State women's basketball team will host Utah in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Wednesday, March 20. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.

This is LBSU's first postseason appearance since earning a berth into the 2000 WNIT. That year, the 49ers advanced to the third round, defeating New Mexico and Saint Mary's, before falling to Colorado State. Long Beach State also made it to the WNIT back in 1978. This is the first-ever women's basketball postseason tournament game to be held in the Walter Pyramid.

Utah (18-13) finished sixth in the Pac-12 regular-season standings and fell to No. 13 UCLA in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Michelle Plouffe leads the Utes with 16.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals per outing. Taryn Wicijowski (14.2 ppg) and Iwalani Rodrigues (12.1 ppg) are also averaging double figures in scoring.

Long Beach State trails in its all-time series with Utah, 3-2. The Utes have won the last three, but the two teams have not faced each other since 2007.

The 49ers played three Pac-12 schools in the preseason and fared well against those teams, going 2-1. They defeated both Washington and Arizona to finish with two wins vs. the Pac-12 (formerly Pac-10) for the first time in 13 years. Long Beach State's only loss came to perennial national power and then No. 1-ranked Stanford.

Dating back to 2011-12, LBSU has won 22 of its last 30 games at the Walter Pyramid. The 49ers are 12-5 this season, with three of their home losses being decided in the final seconds.

Devin Hudson was dominant in a 71-58 win in the regular-season finale at Cal Poly where she finished with career-highs in points (22) and rebounds (20). Hudson is the first 49er to have a 20-point and 20-rebound game since Melissa Gower posted 22 and 20 vs. Nevada on Jan. 13, 1995. She is also just the seventh player in program history to accomplish the 20-20 feat.

Three days later, Hudson was back at it again as she notched 17 points and established a new career high with 24 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton in the first round of the Big West Tournament. Her 24 boards are a tournament record and ranks third in LBSU's single-game history.

Senior Mary Ochiltree is currently seventh in program history in career 3-point field goal percentage (36.5). Sophomore Ella Clark is also eighth among the 49er all-time leaders with 118 career blocks, while classmate Lauren Spargo ranks ninth with 271 3-point field goals attempted.

Devin Hudson, who has a team-leading nine double-doubles on the year, registered a career-high 22 points and 20 rebounds in the regular-season finale at Cal Poly (March 9). Three days later, she topped that performance with a Big West Tournament-record 24 rebounds, while adding 17 points and four blocks in a first-round game against Cal State Fullerton. In other notable performances, Hudson totaled 15 points and 16 rebounds vs. Big West regular season champion Pacific, 10 points and 15 boards vs. UC Riverside and a then career-best 17 points and 14 rebounds vs. Cal State Fullerton. Hudson has led LBSU on the glass 21 times, corralling at least 10 rebounds on 12 occasions. She has also reached double figures in scoring 16 times. Hudson is nearly averaging a double-double with 10.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest.

Sophomore Alex Sanchez has continued to produce in every aspect on the court. She leads the team with 10.5 points, 4.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game, while ranking second with 4.3 rebounds per outing. Sanchez, who notched a season-high 19 points at Utah Valley, has reached double figures in scoring in 17 games. She has led LBSU in the points column 11 times and has finished tops on the squad in assists on 24 occasions.

Sophomore Lauren Spargo is tops on the team with 40 3-pointers made. She has more than one trey in 12 games, including a career-high four against Washington (13 points) and Canisius (14 points). She also totaled a season-high 16 points vs. UC Irvine on Jan. 26, and had 15 points vs. UC Davis on March 2. The Santa Clarita, Calif., native has made 79 shots from long distance in her one-plus year career at LBSU, which puts her four away from breaking into the 49er all-time records.

If LBSU wins its first-round game against Utah, it will play the victor of the San Diego-Hawai'i game at a site and time to be determined.



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