Feb. 13, 2016
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LONG BEACH - Juniors Raven Benton and Madison Montgomery led the Long Beach State women's basketball team to a 60-52 win over UC Santa Barbara Saturday evening at the Walter Pyramid.
"I think we played really hard and I'm proud of our effort," head coach Jody Wynn said. "That's a tough trip coming back from Hawai'i and playing after a red-eye flight."
Benton and Montgomery had 15 points each as they went a combined 12-of-17 from the field. It was Montgomery's third double-figure scoring game in the last four outings.
"Madison was isolated down low and demanded the ball," Wynn added. "She was a leader for us out on the court and I'm proud of the way she finished."
Junior Anna Kim added nine points, while classmate Jewelyn Sawyer had five points and a team-best seven rebounds. Sophomore Gigi Hascheff chipped in six boards as the Beach won the rebounding battle, 35-32.
LBSU (18-6, 7-3 Big West) shot 47.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from beyond the arc. The 49ers also scored 25 points off 18 Gaucho turnovers.
Long Beach State opened the game with a 3-pointer from senior Chantel Dooley. They kept up the pace, getting out to a quick 15-4 lead after sophomore Jessica Gertz hit a three and Benton followed with a layup. Late in the first quarter, UCSB started to close the gap as a 3-pointer by Makala Roper got the visitors within eight at 19-11.
UC Santa Barbara (9-16, 6-5 Big West) started the second quarter with a pair of free throws and a jumper to get within four. With five minutes to go in the half, Benton hit from behind the arc and added two free throws to put the Beach up, 26-17. The Gauchos then went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to three at 26-23. A pair of layups from the 49ers, and one at the buzzer for UCSB, would bring the half to a close with LBSU holding a 30-25 edge.
In the third quarter, Long Beach State took a 35-28 advantage with a triple from Kim at the 6:50 mark. UC Santa Barbara then came back within two before the Beach used a 7-0 spurt, capped by a Montgomery 3-pointer, to pull ahead 42-33 with 4:08 to go. The 49ers stayed out front and led 45-37 at the end of the period.
UCSB started the fourth frame on an 11-3 run to knot the score at 48-48 with 5:34 remaining. LBSU then got a jumper from Benton and a pair of free throws from Dooley to put the home team back on top, 52-48. The Gauchos stayed within striking distance as they trailed by three before Montgomery drained a huge jumper with the shot clock winding down to give Long Beach State a 55-50 lead with 44 seconds left. The Beach then secured the 60-52 win at the charity stripe where it was 5-of-6 down the stretch.
Roper paced UC Santa Barbara with a game-high 16 points. Taylor Farris also had eight points and nine rebounds. The Gauchos shot just 28.8 percent from the floor and were 4-of-22 from long distance.
Long Beach State has a pair of road games next week as it heads to Big West-leading UC Riverside on Thursday, Feb. 18, before making its way to UC Santa Barbara for a rematch on Saturday, Feb. 20.
NOTES: Long Beach State has won its last four home games and is now 9-3 in the Walter Pyramid ... The Beach (18-6) is two victories away from its second-straight 20-win season ... A 49er team hasn't had back-to-back 20-win campaigns since 1990-91 and 1991-92 ... Raven Benton has 962 career points, putting her just 38 away from becoming the 24th player in program history to reach 1,000 ... She also ranks seventh in school history with 304 career free throws made ... The Beach had more turnovers than its opponent for only the fifth time this year and the first time since Jan. 13 ... Freshman Katie Webster and sophomore Gigi Hascheff recorded their first career blocks.