‘Twas one of the last days of finals when all through the ‘Mid, not a player was sinking shots as if there were a lid.
After a weekend in which the 49ers exchanged gifts among one another, the Long Beach State women’s basketball team continued to partake in this season of giving, handing Miami University (Ohio) its sixth loss of the season in a 76-61 game.
LBSU (6-4) used a balanced attack in the second half to make up for a first half in which there appeared to be a layer of cellophane covering the rim like holiday leftovers. However, head coach Jody Wynn credited the poor shooting effort in the first half to the Miami defense.
“They pack it in and force us to shoot a lot of shots because their defense took away a lot of our paint touches,” Wynn said. “Usually I’d have to say that [29 threes attempted] would be a few too many, however [Miami] dictated that.”
Despite the 49ers playing down to the level of competition on the offensive end at a 32.5 percent mark from the field compared to Miami’s 33.3 percent in the first, The Beach came out of the halftime break shooting a much improved 46.2 percent.
But because of poor rebounding and an injury to junior guard Alex Sanchez that sent the leading scorer in the first half to the bench prematurely, The Beach wasn’t able to close the door on the RedHawks until late.
“If we want to win day in and day out, we have to compete better off the glass,” Wynn said.
At the 3:05 mark in the second half, Miami cut the lead to ten on a three from Haley Robertson that was assisted by her sister, Hannah Robertson.
The 49ers were unable to answer back and the RedHawks scored on their following possession with a layup by Miami guard Kindsay Brandt to bring the game within eight.
But the 49ers scored nine points in the final 2:19 to give them the win in a week that includes a three game in five day stretch with the Beach Classic following their Friday night game against Richmond.
Four players scored in double figures for LBSU with freshman Raven Benton attributing 17 points in 17 minutes of action. Fellow freshman Anna Kim started her first game at point guard this season and stepped up in the absence of Sanchez, registering a season-high 16 points.
Hallie Meneses came off the bench and had her best night of the season, scoring 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting with 3-of-6 shots tickling the twine from beyond the arch.
“I knew my team needed me no matter what, starting or not starting, I just had to change my mindset.” Meneses said. “I realized that I wasn’t having my best shooting games but I just got some extra shots up with coach and he really fed in my head that I’m a good shooter and that’s something I needed.”
The 49ers will return to the court Friday to face a very physical team in Richmond that was a part of the postseason last year. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“Richmond is experienced, physical and tough minded. They move the ball really well and they’re a well-coached team. Our hands are gonna be full Friday night.”