The Long Beach State women’s basketball team won its first game of the Beach Classic with all three captains scoring in double figures for the first time this season.
Juniors Hallie Meneses, Alex Sanchez and Ella Clark were three of five players to score in double figures on the evening, and it was their impressive shooting in the second half that ensured the 73-61 first round victory and never let the Spiders see the lead.
“I hope we’re setting the example for our team,” Meneses said. “When we’re in it, we want [everyone else] to be in it. It doesn’t have to be scoring, it could just be defensively.”
Before the second half got underway, Game 1 of the Beach Classic was available for the taking, with LBSU not fully in control of the game despite a 40 percent field goal percentage compared to Richmond’s 27 percent.
“I don’t remember talking about any bad shots after I do in certain games, and that’s the extra ball movement,” head coach Jody Wynn said. “Certainly taking good shots also helped the percentages.”
The Spiders, who beat Miami and Virginia Tech in their buildings this year, were able to put up eight more shots than The Beach in the first half, but the 49ers made better use of their shots, scoring two more baskets than the Spiders in the half.
The scoring difference in both halves came down to baskets in the paint, as LBSU had 14 points compared to Richmond’s eight, a six-point difference at the half when the 49ers had the 30-25 edge.
At the end of 40 minutes, the 49ers had a 12-point lead in both the final score and points in the paint totals. The 49ers got the game started off how they’d love to start every game: keeping their opponent to four points in the first eight minutes. During that stretch, The Beach scored 7 unanswered, to give themselves a cushion to work with.
However, given the game of runs that basketball is, the Spiders were able to chip away at the lead to bring the game within one. And anytime the game got close the 49ers fought back on both ends and established a lead that flirted around double-digits for the majority of the night.