Jan. 17, 2015
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Long Beach State women's basketball team pulled away late in the first half and never looked back as it rolled to an 81-44 win over UC Santa Barbara Saturday afternoon at The Thunderdome.
The 49ers have now won 15 in a row, improving to 17-1 overall and 4-0 in Big West play.
The Beach continued to shoot the ball well, making 47.9 percent of its field goal attempts and going 8-for-16 from 3-point range. The 49ers were also over 70 percent from the free throw line for the third-straight game (77.1 percent).
As usual, LBSU caused problems for its opponent with its defensive play, forcing the Gauchos into 25 turnovers, which resulted in 34 points for the visitors. Long Beach State finished with a season-high tying 16 steals and outrebounded UCSB, 36-29.
Sophomore Raven Benton led the offensive effort with a game-high 17 points on a 5-for-7 shooting performance. Senior Alex Sanchez added 16 points, putting her just nine away from becoming the 22nd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone.
Senior Lauren Spargo added 12 points, all of which came in the first half and all of which came from behind the arc where she was 4-for-9. Her four threes made and her team-high seven rebounds were both season bests. Senior Hallie Meneses, who was coming off a career-high 26 points in a win over Cal Poly on Thursday, contributed six points and eight assists.
Long Beach State got off to a hot start as it went 2-for-3 from long distance over the first three minutes to spark an early 10-2 lead. The Beach stayed out front until UC Santa Barbara used a 9-0 spurt to go up, 19-18, at the 7:55 mark.
Sanchez then took matters into her own hands as she scored nine-straight points to put the 49ers back on top, 27-19. LBSU extended that into a 20-2 run to build its largest lead of the half at 38-21 with just under a minute to go. The 49ers would take a 40-24 advantage into the locker room.
Long Beach State shot 41.4 percent from the floor, 53.8 percent from 3-point range and 81.8 percent from the free throw line in the first half.
The Beach quickly pushed its lead to 21 points (47-26) in the second period following a 7-2 run that ended with a Benton 3-pointer at the 17:40 mark. LBSU never let up as it led by as many as 39 in the 81-44 victory.
UC Santa Barbara (0-16, 0-3 Big West) registered a 35.4 field goal percentage and was 3-of-7 from long distance. Makala Roper led the way with 15 points, while Onome Jemerigbe chipped in 10 points and five assists.
Long Beach State will have a bit of a break as it returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 24, when it welcomes CSUN to the Walter Pyramid for a 4 p.m. showdown.
NOTES: Long Beach State had its second-straight 80-point game and fifth of the season ... The Beach has had five consecutive 40-point halves ... The 49ers remained unbeaten on the road (7-0) ... Raven Benton and Lauren Spargo each registered their third-straight double-figure scoring game ... Long Beach State has held its opponents to 50 points or less five times this season.