Dec. 6, 2011
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team is looking to snap a three-game skid this week as it returns to the friendly confines of the Walter Pyramid on Thursday, Dec. 8, for a 7 p.m. showdown against Nevada. This will be the 49ers' first home game since their season opener on Nov. 11.
LBSU is back in action on Sunday, Dec. 11, when it closes out its non-conference road slate at Pac-12 foe Arizona. Tip-off is set for noon (PST) at McKale Center.
Fans can follow the 49ers all season long with every women's basketball game being broadcast live via Stretch Internet Radio on longbeachstate.com. David Bagga is LBSU's play-by-play announcer.
A GLANCE AT NEVADA
Nevada dropped to 2-5 on the season after falling to Pacific in overtime, 75-70, and at Portland State, 80-73, last week. Kate Kevorken leads the Wolf Pack with 16.3 points per game, while Danika Sharp is the team's second-leading scorer at 12.7 points per outing. Kayla Williams is also averaging 12.0 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds per contest.
Jane Albright is in her fourth year as the head coach at Nevada. Last year, she led the Pack to their first 20-win season and picked up the program's first postseason victory with a WNIT first-round triumph over St. Mary's.
Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with Nevada, 12-5, and has won the last three contests. In the most recent meeting on March 10, 2000, the 49ers topped the Wolf Pack, 97-87 in Reno.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Arizona (7-1) suffered its only loss of the season last weekend to BYU at the Hukilau Invitational in Laie, Hawaii. The Wildcats finished the tournament with a 2-1 record as they defeated Syracuse, 80-74, and BYU-Hawaii, 78-61. Davellyn Whyte leads UA with 19.4 points and 4.6 assists per game. Candice Warthen is also averaging 16.8 points per outing, while Erica Barnes has posted 13.8 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per contest.
Niya Butts is in her fourth year at the helm of the Arizona women's basketball program. She led the 2010-11 squad to a 21-12 record and the Wildcats' first postseason appearance since the 2004-05 season with a bid to the WNIT. Butts was a four-year letterwinner at Tennessee where she helped the Lady Vols to four straight NCAA Tournaments, including back-to-back NCAA championship titles in 1997 and 1998.
Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with Arizona, 14-5, but the 49ers are currently on a five-game losing streak and have not beaten UA since 1990. The Wildcats claimed the most recent meeting by a 56-46 margin on Dec. 14, 2008, in Tucson.
Redshirt freshman Alex Sanchez leads the team with 26 assists and is tied for 10th in the Big West with 3.25 helpers per contest. The Anaheim native is also second on the squad in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and tied for second in scoring (9.3 ppg). She has reached double figures four times with a career-high 20 points at Washington, 17 points at Sacramento State, 11 points at Columbia and 10 points at Santa Clara. Sanchez added a season-best 10 rebounds against the Hornets for her first career double-double.
MOORER DOUBLES UP
Senior Tipesa Moorer (Harbor City, Calif.) has reached double figures in scoring in five of Long Beach State's eight games. She notched a double-double in the 49ers' season-opening win against Utah Valley with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Moorer also had a season-best 17 points at Santa Clara, 13 points at Iona, 12 points at Sacramento State and 10 points at Columbia. On the year, she is tops on the team with 10.1 points per outing.
CLARK'S BLOCK PARTY - THE SEQUEL
Sophomore Ella Clark has picked up right where she left off last season when she established a 49er freshman record with 55 blocks. In 2011-12, she has swatted away a team-best 18 shots, including a career-high seven against Utah Valley. That mark ranks her third in LBSU single-game history. The London native is tops in the Big West with 2.57 blocks per game, and also ranks eighth in rebounding (6.0 rpg). Clark is tied for second on the team with 9.3 points per contest.
SHOW US WHAT YOU'VE GOT
Freshmen Lauren Spargo and Bianka Balthazar have both had strong collegiate debuts at Long Beach State. Spargo had a breakout performance at Iona, going 6-for-11 from the field for a season-best 16 points, which was 10 above her average entering the game. On the season, the Santa Clarita native has posted solid numbers with 6.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals per contest.
Last weekend, Balthazar came back from an injury that had sidelined her for four games. At Seattle, she scored seven points and dished out a season-high four assists. In November, Balthazar netted 11 points in the 49ers' season-opening victory against Utah Valley, and finished with six points and six rebounds at BIG EAST foe Syracuse. She is fourth on the squad with 7.0 points per game.
Long Beach State returns home for its final three non-conference games next weekend. The 49ers will entertain Dartmouth on Friday, Dec. 16, before hosting the second annual Beach Classic Presented by Residence Inn/Courtyard Marriott, Dec. 18-19.
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