Dec. 10, 2016
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Seniors Anna Kim and Madison Montgomery led the Long Beach State offense with a pair of career-high performances to lift the Beach past Loyola Marymount, 81-78, in overtime on Saturday at Gersten Pavilion.
The duo combined for 49 points in the contest as the 49ers improved to 6-4 on the year, and the Lions dropped to 5-5.
"Loyola Marymount plays hard," Long Beach State head coach Jody Wynn said. "It's a double-headed monster with Jackie Johnson and Cheyanne Wallace down low. Those are two kids that can just flat out score the ball, and when you add Leslie Lopez-Wood into the mix, it posed a massive challenge for us to overcome.
"I'm really proud of this team. We're starting to see our confidence build. We talked about our identity and getting back to the little things - and that's defending the ball, defending off the ball, getting to our spots and having trust in one another away from the ball in our rotations.
"They did a really good job in practice this week, the energy was super high and they really bought into saying 'Our identity is defense.' We did a really good job defending (Andee) Velasco and forcing turnovers. That's who we are; I am really proud of this team."
After fighting through eight ties and 13 lead changes, Long Beach State found itself down by three with just 12.0 seconds remaining in the game. Wynn called a timeout, drew up a play and sent her team back out onto the court. Kim passed the ball to Montgomery, who was beyond the arc, and sunk a trey to even the score and force overtime.
"We drew it up for Madi," Wynn explained. "Madi is a great three-point shooter and we want her to establish herself in the paint. She's one of our best three-point shooters in practice and she has a beautiful shot. We tried to do a misdirection play and Anna set a down screen for her and she knocked it down. It was a big-time shot by Madi. She just played beautifully all night. She was on a mission - rebounding, scoring, defending - she did a great job."
That was the tail of the tape as Kim and Montgomery each recorded a 20-point game as Kim registered a new-career high with 27 points and Montgomery tied her career-best with a 22-point effort.
Montgomery added seven rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks for the 49ers, while Kim shot 57.1 percent (8-for-14) from the field, 50 percent (3-for-6) from long distance and was 8-for-9 from the free throw line.
"Anna played a beautiful floor game for us," Wynn said of her team captain. "She understood the difference between their man and zones, and they switched it up. She just did a really good job handling their length and handling the pressure. I'm just really proud of the attack mode she played with. I think she played downhill in the first half, got herself to the free throw line, made a quick layup and got her confidence going. Our offense really came from our defense. Our defense did a good job tonight."
On the defensive end, Long Beach State forced 24 turnovers and grabbed 13 steals, while collecting 23 points off of turnovers.
Senior Jewelyn Sawyer led the Beach in rebounding with nine boards, while adding four assists, three steals and one block to go along with eight points.
The Beach outscored the Lions 10-7 in the overtime frame as LBSU went on to edge Loyola Marymount by three points. The 49ers have now won their last three games as they head home to host Biola on Friday, Dec. 16 at the Walter Pyramid at 7p.m.
LMU also had a pair of 20-point scorers in Johnson (25 points) and Lopez-Wood (21 points). Wallace rounded out the Lions' double-figure scorers with 19 points, while adding eight rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks.
Although Loyola Marymount turned in a solid offensive performance, the Long Beach State defense was on point and put pressure on the Lions. The Beach forced Andee Velasco into a whopping eight turnovers, while Wallace turned the ball over six times en route to LMU tallying two dozen turnovers in the game.