Oct. 1, 2013
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team began the 2013-14 season with its first official practice Tuesday afternoon at the Gold Mine.
"It's a great feeling to have everybody out on the court together," fifth-year head coach Jody Wynn said. "The camaraderie was great, the energy was high and there was excitement in the air. There's nothing better than the first day of practice."
LBSU held a two-and-a-half hour practice in its first session as an entire team. The 49ers got right into layup and shooting drills following a 15-minute warm-up. The team then ran through transition, rebounding and defensive drills.
Long Beach State returns seven letterwinners, including four starters, from a 2012-13 squad that went 16-16 and earned an invitation to the WNIT. It was the program's first postseason appearance in 13 years.
The 49ers will look to their All-Big West selections, junior guard Alex Sanchez and junior center Devin Hudson, to lead the way in 2013-14. The duo received honorable mention recognition last year as Sanchez averaged a team-best 10.6 points and 4.1 assists per game, while Hudson finished with 9.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest. Also providing leadership this season is LBSU's lone senior, Jade Wilson, who is coming off a junior campaign in which she totaled 3.4 points and 3.1 boards in 16.0 minutes per outing.
In addition, Long Beach State returns juniors Bianka Balthazar (9.0 ppg), Lauren Spargo (7.6 ppg), Ella Clark (7.6 ppg) and Chantel Dooley (5.8 ppg). Junior Hallie Meneses is also back following a redshirt season. In 2011-12, Meneses averaged 6.0 points and 3.3 assists.
Long Beach State will be on the road for its first three games this year, starting with a contest at 2013 NCAA Final Four participant Cal on Friday, Nov. 8. The 49ers will return to the Walter Pyramid for their home opener against Loyola Marymount on Nov. 23.
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