Nov. 6, 2012
In their season opener on Friday, Nov. 9, the 49ers will entertain the Hornets at 7 p.m. They then return to the hardwood on Sunday, Nov. 11, for a 2 p.m. showdown with the Gaels.
Fans can follow the 49ers all season long with every women's basketball game being broadcast live via Stretch Internet Radio on longbeachstate.com. Tyler Hendrickson is LBSU's play-by-play announcer.
A GLANCE AT SACRAMENTO STATE
Sacramento State returns its top two scorers from last year in senior forward Kylie Kuhns (13.6 ppg) and junior guard Alle Moreno (13.3 ppg). Kuhns was also the team's top rebounder in 2011-12, averaging 11.6 boards per contest, and she ranked third in the nation with 21 double-doubles. The Hornets finished the season with a 13-18 overall record and they tied for sixth in the Big Sky regular season standings.
Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with Sacramento State, 4-2. The Hornets have claimed the last two meetings, including a 74-67 victory in Sacramento in 2011. The only time the teams squared off in Long Beach was in 1996 when LBSU prevailed, 85-79.
SCOUTING THE GAELS
Iona welcomes back eight letterwinners from last year's team that went 13-18 overall and finished seventh in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Sophomore guard Damika Martinez is the Gaels' top returner after averaging 16.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Last year marked the first-ever meeting between Long Beach State and Iona. The Gaels were able to erase a nine-point deficit with under 10 minutes to play to come out on top, 78-73, at Hynes Center in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Long Beach State is 29-20 in season openers dating back to the 1963-64 campaign. In 2011-12, LBSU won its second season-opening game in three years with a 75-43 rout of Utah Valley. That margin of victory was also the largest by a 49er squad since a 102-62 triumph over Cal State Northridge on Jan. 15, 2006. Long Beach State is 20-6 when playing its first game of the year at home.
As a redshirt freshman in 2011-12, Alex Sanchez was one of the 49ers' top all-around performers. She finished the season ranked second on the team in scoring (9.2 ppg), rebounding (4.9 rpg) and assists (99), and was third in steals (47). The Anaheim native scored in double figures 16 times, including a career-high 20 points at Washington. Sanchez also registered her first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds at Sacramento State. She garnered All-Big West honorable mention recognition, was named to the conference's all-freshman team and was selected to the Big West All-Tournament Team.
SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
Mary Ochiltree (Lake Stevens, Wash.) returns as the 49ers' lone senior this year. Ochiltree, who was naturally selected as one of three team captains, averaged 5.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in 2011-12. The 5-foot-11 guard/forward also had six double-figure scoring games in her first season at LBSU after transferring from Everett Community College.
BACK ON TRACK
Sophomore Devin Hudson is expected to be a key contributor in the 49ers' front court as she looks to continue her strong finish to last season. After injuries limited her playing time early in her freshman campaign, Hudson really came into her own in the second half of the year. She totaled a team-high three double-doubles and six double-figure rebounding games. The Ontario, Calif., native's best performance came in the Big West championship game where she had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Hudson was named to the 2012 Big West All-Tournament Team.
LBSU PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH IN PRESEASON POLL
LBSU was picked to finish fifth in the Big West preseason poll as voted on by a panel of media members. The 49ers received one first-place vote and totaled 116 points. Cal State Northridge was tabbed as this year's favorite, compiling 161 points (six first-place votes), while Pacific was a close second with five first-place nods and 159 points. Reigning Big West Tournament champion UC Santa Barbara was selected to finish third (153) and two-time defending Big West regular season champion Cal Poly was fourth (127).
Long Beach State makes the short trek to Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Nov. 15, for a 7 p.m. game. The 49ers will then be back in the Walter Pyramid for a 2 p.m. showdown against Washington on Sunday (Nov. 18).
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