49ers respond from loss to UCI with British Night win over UCR

The Long Beach State women’s basketball team split their games against UC Irvine and UC Riverside, falling at UCI 78-58 on Thursday before defeating the Highlanders at the Walter Pyramid, 65-52.

Both games featured slow starts out of the gate, with the 49ers not hitting double figures until the five-minute mark against the Anteaters. On Saturday, both teams managed to score just five points in the first seven minutes of play.

But while LBSU was unable to recover from their slow start on Thursday, freshmen Raven Benton and Anna Kim made sure the same couldn’t be said on British Night.

“Raven Benton did a really nice job,” head coach Jody Wynn said. “She got frustrated at times, but she got offensive rebounds and did a good job of controlling the glass. She finished around the rim really well, which then made her relax in terms of her perimeter game.”

Raven Benton comes off the bench to lead LBSU past the Highlanders.



Pyramid to go British

Junior forward Ella Clark won’t be blowing the candles out at home, but she will be celebrating her 22nd birthday inside a British-themed Walter Pyramid with her sisters.

Following the Saturday game against UC Riverside, the 49ers will be hosting British Night at the ‘Mid to help send Clark and her teammates to the land of Big Ben, Fish and Chips and David Beckham.

“I’m not sure what the whole game entails, but I’m hoping to see a flag that big hanging up in the Pyramid,” Clark said as she looked up at the giant American flag displayed inside the Pyramid.

But while there may or may not be a giant British flag flying in the ‘Mid that night, it will be the closest thing to hoops outside of the states.

The LBSU women’s basketball team will host British Night at the Pyramid after a game Saturday.


Cal Poly wins game, Sanchez gets ring

Alex Sanchez, 3, is surrounded by teammates as she watches a video before being proposed to by boyfriend Chris Helmage after Saturday’s game at the Walter Pyramid.

Alex Sanchez, 3, is surrounded by teammates as she watches a video before being proposed to by boyfriend Chris Helmage after Saturday’s game at the Walter Pyramid.

Tears were shed after Saturday’s game against Cal Poly, but it wasn’t because the 49ers lost in overtime.

Long Beach State fell to the Mustangs, 107-102, in its first 100-point game in eight years, but the mood quickly turned positive as guard Alex Sanchez accepted a marriage proposal at half court after the game.

The game itself certainly lived up to its high expectations given that the reigning Big West Champs were in town with the dynamic Cal Poly lineup that yields two of the top three scorers in the Big West: Molly Schlemer (18.6) and Ariana Elegado (17.5).

The 49ers lose to Cal Poly in overtime, but the evening ends on a positive note as guard Alex Sanchez gets engaged.

49ers’ comeback effort falls short in loss at UC Davis

DAVIS, Calif. – The Long Beach State women’s basketball team was forced to come from behind for a second time in as many games this week, but the final result yielded a different outcome as it lost to UC Davis, 63-60.

Unlike the game against UC Irvine on Thursday, the 49ers were unable to extend their lead to anything of significance because of a rough night shooting and an inability to establish themselves at the free throw line.

However, despite the rough night on offense in which the 49ers shot just 35.6 percent compared to the Aggies 44.2 percent, The Beach was presented with multiple chances to take the game late thanks to a healthy combination of good team defense and unforced turnovers by UC Davis.

“We dug ourselves into a hole, and they played really well in the first half,” head coach Jody Wynn said. “We were able to recover on defense in the second half and our presses were really good.”

With about eight minutes left in in the first half, a rare four-point play by Idit Oryon sparked a 17-2 run for the Aggies and would eventually hold a 39-28 advantage at the half.

Long Beach State has a chance to send the game into overtime, but missed threes leads to a 63-60 loss. 

49er women use late runs to force overtime, beat UC Irvine

Basketball is a game of runs. For the Long Beach State women’s basketball team, it made runs when it mattered most Thursday afternoon, winning 84-75 over UC Irvine.

The black and blue rivalry game certainly fit the billing as LBSU beached the Anteaters in overtime after the 49ers made an 11-2 run to force the extra period.

With 3:30 left on the clock in the second half and the momentum in UC Irvine’s possession, the ‘Niners not only established a run to force the game to overtime, but also continued that run into overtime. A Jade Wilson jumper sparked a 12-3 run that led to the nine-point victory in both teams’ Big West opener.

Not only were their runs impressive on the offensive end, the ‘Niners made stops when they needed to and held UCI without a field goal in the final five minutes. “We didn’t quit,” head coach Jody Wynn said. “We made big plays and got big stops as time was winding down in regulation.”

Long Beach State comes back to beat the Anteaters, 84-75. 

49ers advance to Beach Classic finals

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.

The 49ers saw a season-high five players score in double figures

49ers women take down RedHawks in finals week showdown

‘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.

49ers women take down RedHawks in finals week showdown