Nov. 28, 2015
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Long Beach State women's basketball team rallied from an 18-point third-quarter deficit to come away with a 60-59 win over Northwestern State Saturday afternoon at the Pan American Center. The Beach concluded the Aggie Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic at 2-0.
It was a wild finish as LBSU trailed by nine with 4:20 left in regulation. Over the next two minutes, the 49ers closed the gap to one at 57-56 following a 3-pointer from junior Raven Benton. NSU responded with a pair of free throws before sophomore Gigi Hascheff hit a jumper in the lane at the 1:31 mark to make it 59-58. That score stood until junior Madison Montgomery got a steal and then put in the go-ahead layup on the other end with 10.6 seconds on the clock. The Lady Demons were able to get a three off before the buzzer, but it hit the front iron to give the 49ers the victory.
Montgomery finished the day with a season-best 14 points on a 7-of-10 shooting performance. Junior Jewelyn Sawyer notched her second double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds. She also had four assists and three steals. Benton added 12 points, while Hascheff had nine points, five boards and three assists.
The Beach (5-1) shot 39.3 percent from the floor, 23.1 percent from 3-point range and 76.9 percent from the free throw line.
It went back-and-forth in the first quarter with six lead changes and two tie scores. Long Beach State took its first lead of the day at 6-5 following a Montgomery jumper at the 6:47 mark. A Hascheff three would put LBSU on top, 11-9, with 3:54 to go, but NSU closed out the period on a 6-0 spurt to pull ahead 16-11.
Northwestern State (3-4) went up by eight early in the second quarter before Sawyer hit a three to make it 22-14 with 9:13 remaining. The Lady Demons then went on a 13-2 run over the next eight minutes to open up a 32-16 advantage. The Beach answered with the final three points of the half to cut the deficit to 13 (32-19) at the break.
The 49ers shot just 29.2 percent, while NSU was 47.8 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes.
Long Beach State then mounted its comeback in the third frame, outscoring Northwestern State, 25-15. After falling behind by 18, the Beach started to chip away before going on a 12-0 run over the final three minutes to make it a three-point game (47-44), setting up the thrilling fourth quarter.
Northwestern State, which has made two-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, was paced by Beatrice Attura's 21 points. Janelle Perez also had 16 points, while Shahd Abboud pulled down 10 rebounds.
Long Beach State will stay on the road next week when it heads to Pacific for a 7 p.m. showdown on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The Beach then returns to the Walter Pyramid to host Colorado (Dec. 6) and San Francisco (Dec. 8).
NOTES: Long Beach State had forced its first five opponents into 21 or more turnovers ... Northwestern State committed just 13 miscues to snap the streak ... The Beach was even better, however, with a season-low 10 turnovers ... LBSU also scored a season-high 41 second-half points for the comeback victory ... Jewelyn Sawyer has accounted for the 49ers' two double-doubles this year.