Dec. 6, 2015
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LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team's defensive effort lifted it to a 59-42 victory over Pac-12 member Colorado Sunday afternoon at the Walter Pyramid.
The Beach (7-1), which extended its win streak to four games, held the Buffaloes to 27.1 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from beyond the arc. LBSU also scored 20 points off of 22 Colorado turnovers. Even more impressive was the fact that the 49ers outscored CU in the paint, 34-12, despite being a much smaller team. Long Beach State has only two active players over six-feet (both 6-1), while seven Buffs who stepped on the court today stood at least 6-1, with their tallest at 6-4.
"We have been working on our defensive execution," 49er head coach Jody Wynn said. "It's what we're demanding of them and really what the girls are demanding of themselves - that we're executing our defenses better so we can be in position to guard and rebound the ball better. Obviously, we're small and we're not going to get any bigger, but we can play bigger, we can play smarter and we can be tougher. Today was a full 40 minutes of being the tougher team."
Junior Jewelyn Sawyer led LBSU with a game-high 15 points on a 6-of-8 shooting performance. Classmate Raven Benton finished with 13 points, while both Sawyer and Benton added a team-best seven rebounds. Junior Madison Montgomery and freshman Chanterria Jackson chipped in nine points each. Junior Anna Kim also had a strong all-around outing with six points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The two teams were locked in a defensive battle in the first quarter as it was tied at 3-3 until Colorado made its second basket of the day at the 4:42 mark. Long Beach State then answered with a three from Sawyer for its first lead of the game. After the Buffs went back on top by two, the Beach scored six unanswered to pull ahead, 12-8, but CU was able to make it a one-point game (12-11) at the end of the period.
The Beach opened the second frame on a 7-1 run to take a 19-12 advantage with 5:17 remaining. Colorado closed the gap to three, but the 49ers used a 9-3 spurt, capped by a Benton layup with 2.3 seconds on the clock, for a 30-21 cushion at intermission.
Long Beach State made a couple of free throws to go on top, 32-21, with 7:32 to go in the third quarter. Colorado then scored its first points of the period with a pair of free throws and followed with the first field goal of the second half to make it 32-25 at the 6:02 mark. LBSU responded with a 7-2 run before the Buffs drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the 49ers led 39-30 after three.
CU (3-4) carried the momentum into the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to four (39-35) at the 9:09 mark. Wynn quickly called a timeout and the Beach regrouped, answering with a Benton layup and a jumper from Sawyer to push the lead back to eight with 6:38 remaining. It went back-and-forth over the next couple minutes before Long Beach State used a 10-0 spurt, which ended with a three-point play from Jackson, to put the game out of reach. The Buffaloes then snapped a four-minute scoring drought, but it was too little too late as the 49ers ran away with the 59-42 win.
Lauren Huggins paced Colorado with 11 points, but she was 3-of-18 from the field and 3-for-16 from long distance. Her 16 3-point field goal attempts were a Walter Pyramid record. Alexis Robinson contributed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Long Beach State returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 8, when it welcomes San Francisco to the Walter Pyramid for a 7 p.m. showdown.
NOTES: Long Beach State extended its win streak to a season-long four games ... Dating back to 2014-15, the Beach has also won four-straight in the Pyramid ... LBSU has defeated a Pac-12 team in three of Coach Wynn's seven years at the helm, including in each of the last two ... The 49ers now lead in their all-time series with Colorado, 4-2 ... Jewelyn Sawyer recorded her fourth-straight double-figure scoring game ... Long Beach State has forced 21 or more turnovers in six of its eight outings ... It has also held seven of its opponents to 60 or fewer points, and three to under 50.