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49ers set to host third annual Beach Classic; Open tournament against Canisius on Thursday

The 49ers will host Canisius College in the Beach Classic opener on Thursday, Dec. 20.

Dec. 18, 2012

Canisius College (2-6) at
Long Beach State (4-5)
Thursday, Dec. 20
Time: 5 p.m. (PST)
Location: Walter Pyramid
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Albany (8-2) or Sam Houston State (2-6) at
Long Beach State (4-5)
Friday, Dec. 21
Time: 5 or 7 p.m. (PST)
Location: Walter Pyramid
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Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader | Beach Classic Tournament Page

The Long Beach State women's basketball team is set to host the third annual Beach Classic, Dec. 20-21. The 49ers open the four-team tournament against Canisius College at 5 p.m. on Thursday (Dec. 20). Later that evening, University at Albany will square off against Sam Houston State at approximately 7 p.m.

The teams return to the court on Friday, Dec. 21, with the consolation game at 5 p.m. and the championship game slated for a 7 p.m. start. All games will be played at the Walter Pyramid.

The 49er women's basketball team will hold a holiday canned food and toy drive, benefiting the Long Beach Rescue Mission, during the third annual Beach Classic on Thursday, Dec. 20. Fans who bring two canned food items or one unopened toy to the collection table outside the Walter Pyramid on the day of the LBSU-Canisius game will receive free admission to the first day of the Beach Classic.

Fans can follow the 49ers all season long with every women's basketball game being broadcast live via Stretch Internet Radio on Tyler Hendrickson is LBSU's play-by-play announcer.

Canisius College, which is winless in its last three games, dropped to 2-6 overall after suffering a 66-44 defeat at St. Bonaventure on Sunday, Dec. 16. Jamie Ruttle and Ashley Wilkes lead the Golden Griffins with 10.7 and 10.1 points per game, respectively. Wilkes is also averaging a team-best 7.6 rebounds per outing.

This is the first meeting between Long Beach State and Canisius College.

A 49er victory over Canisius on Thursday will mean:
- LBSU snaps a two-game losing streak and evens its record at 5-5.
- LBSU advances to the Beach Classic championship game for the second-straight year.
- LBSU improves to 4-2 at home.

Albany (8-2) brings a six-game win streak to Long Beach as it downed Delaware State, 79-57, in its last outing on Saturday, Dec. 15. Megan Craig is the Great Danes' leading scorer with 12.3 points per game, while Ebone Henry (10.7 ppg) and Lindsey Lowrie (10.4 ppg) are also averaging double figures. Julie Forster is tops on the team in rebounding with 8.5 boards per contest.

Sam Houston State fell to 2-6 on the season after suffering a 67-60 loss at TCU on Sunday (Dec. 16). Britni Martin has paced the Bearkats with 15.9 points per outing, while Sequeena Thomas is averaging a double-double with 12.4 points and 12.6 rebounds per game.

Long Beach State has depended heavily on its performance from behind the arc this season. In its four wins, LBSU shot a combined 37.3 percent (34-91) from long distance. The 49ers were over 40 percent in three of those games and made a season-high 10 3-pointers in a victory over Washington. On the flip side, Long Beach State made just 20 percent (13-65) of its threes in its five losses.

Long Beach State enters the week ranked third in the Big West in 3-point field goals made (55) and 3-point field goals attempted (176). The 49ers are averaging 19.6 attempts per game from beyond the arc.

In her first appearance of the season, sophomore Bianka Balthazar came off the bench to spark the 49ers with a team-high 14 points and nine rebounds at Loyola Marymount (Nov. 15). She went 6-for-11 from the field and hit four of her first five shots over a two-minute span. Balthazar also came off the bench to score a season-best 15 points vs. Santa Clara and 12 points vs. Arizona. She reached double figures again in her third start of the year with 12 points at San Diego. Balthazar, who has reached double digits in scoring in the last three games, is averaging 9.1 points and 3.4 rebounds.

Sophomore Alex Sanchez has continued to produce in every aspect on the court. On the season, she leads the team with 12.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists per contest. Sanchez has reached double figures in six games and notched a season-high 19 points in a 77-69 road win at Utah Valley. She has led LBSU in scoring five times and has finished tops on the team in assists on seven occassions.

Sophomore Devin Hudson posted the 49ers' first double-double of the year in a 71-61 victory over Arizona on Dec. 2, as she finished with 10 points and a season-best 12 rebounds. She also had a season-high 12 points vs. Washington (Nov. 18). In addition, Hudson has been LBSU's top rebounder in the last four games.

Sophomore Chantel Dooley is known as a lock-down defender, but in Long Beach State's season-opening weekend, she also displayed her scoring potential. Against Sacramento State, the 5-foot-8 guard drained a career-high 19 points as she went 7-for-13 from the field and made all four of her free throws. In a narrow 60-58 loss to Iona, Dooley again reached double figures with 11 points. She also had 12 points at Utah Valley. Dooley continues to be one of the 49ers' top defenders with a team-best 18 steals, seven of which came against Sacramento State.

Long Beach State has had six games decided by less than 10 points this year and LBSU is 3-3 in those contests. The 49ers started the season by holding on for a 74-71 victory over Sacramento State before falling to Iona, 60-58, on a buzzer beater. They suffered another loss at the buzzer against Santa Clara when the Broncos scored the game-winning basket with 0.3 seconds on the clock. LBSU also defeated Washington by nine and Utah Valley by eight, while dropping a six-point decision at Loyola Marymount.

Dating back to last year, LBSU has posted a 13-5 record when playing in front of its home crowd at the Walter Pyramid. The 49ers are 3-2 this season, with both of their losses coming at the buzzer. In 2011-12, 10 of their 14 wins came in Long Beach.

Long Beach State will have a one-week layoff before returning to the Walter Pyramid for its final non-conference game against Columbia at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29. It is the front end of a doubleheader with the 49er men's basketball team.



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