Sports, Women's Basketball

The Beach fades down the stretch

Box score

If you’ve been around sports long enough, then you’re probably familiar with the phrase, “It’s not a matter of how you start, but a matter of how you finish.”

This couldn’t be more true for the Long Beach State women’s basketball team Tuesday as it wrapped up the Beach Classic at the Walter Pyramid with a 92-72 loss to North Carolina State.

The 49ers (2-11) –– who were outscored by 20 in the second half –– gave up 19 points off 12 turnovers and 14 second-chance points in the final 20 minutes.

“In the second half, they imposed their will on us,” LBSU head coach Jody Wynn said. “They got second-chance points, scored on the block, and they got some and-ones.”

With the game tied at 40 to start the second period, the Wolfpack (7-6) stormed out to a 7-0 run capped by a straightaway jumper from Amber White with just over two minutes gone by.

Trailing 58-49 with 14:33 remaining, LBSU traded baskets with N.C. State for the next five minutes before Lyndsay Heard nailed a straightaway 3 to cut the deficit to 71-67 with 6:50 left to play.

However, the 49ers would draw no closer as the Wolfpack finished the contest by going on a 21-5 run. In that span, the ‘Niners committed six fouls and were held scoreless for the final two and a half minutes of the contest, while N.C. State converted 8-of-9 free throws.

Despite the loss, The Beach received an all-around effort as five of its players scored in double figures.

Courtney Jacob and Tipesa Moorer paced the ‘Niners with 14 points apiece, while Brandi Henton, Ella Clark, and Heard each scored 10.

“We really worked together and had a lot of fire,” Jacob said. “And with Lyndsay and Ella hitting some good stuff, it made for a lot of excitement today.”

Jacob also tallied seven rebounds and five assists, while Moorer added a team-high eight boards and two blocks.

“Other games, I’ve gotten down on myself for playing bad offensively,” Moorer said. “So I was really trying to focus on rebounding and boxing out, and I think the offense just came with it.”

Meanwhile, four players reached double-figures in scoring for the Wolfpack, who were led by Bonae Holston with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Brittany Strachan chipped in with 13 points and 10 boards.

Trailing 37-23 in the first period, The Beach went on a 17-3 surge capped by three consecutive 3-pointers and a buzzer-beating layup from Heard to even the game at 40 at halftime.

The ‘Niners went 28-of-71 (39.4 percent) from the field, while the Wolfpack shot a scorching 35-of-72 (48.6 percent).

Although N.C. State only held a slight edge in offensive rebounds, 19-18, it finished with 29 second-chance points to LBSU’s 8.

“We went in there and we fought and we scrapped,” Wynn said. “I just think they imposed their strength on us in the second half and I think we were stuck for a while offensively at the end of the game. But I’m proud of the team for not letting up and playing with the effort that we needed to play with.”

LBSU won’t return to action until Thursday, Dec. 30 when it will play host to UC Santa Barbara for the start of Big West Conference play. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.

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