The Long Beach State women’s basketball team was handed a 57-41 defeat courtesy of host UC Riverside Saturday evening at the Student Recreation Center.
Senior Kaiti O’Brien led the 49ers with 14 points and nine rebounds, while junior Whitney Fields added nine points. Junior Courtney Jacob finished with eight points, seven rebounds and a team-high four assists.
UCR center Kemie Nkele scored a game-high 21 points for the Highlanders, knocking down an efficient 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.
LBSU (3-15, 0-6 Big West Conference) played without starting point guard Adelle Walton and it showed. The ‘Niners finished the game shooting a forgettable 32 percent from the field.
Though the 33.9 field goal percentage for the Highlanders was not any more impressive.
UCR (9-9, 5-1 Big West) pulled away in the second half, taking a 12-point lead (38-26) at the 11:32 mark.
At the end of the first half the trailing 49ers scored six of the final 10 points to cut the deficit to 27-20 at the break.
Nkele vaulted the Highlanders to a commanding lead as she knocked down 5-of-6 from behind the arc for 17 points. O’Brien paced the 49ers with eight points and four rebounds.
Long Beach State jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after a layup by O’Brien. The 49ers stayed out front until Nkele hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Highlanders an 11-8 advantage with 13:09 to play in the first half.
Both teams shot below 30 percent from the field in the first half.
UCR had a slight overall edge on the boards, out-rebounding The Beach, 43-38.
Long Beach State will look to snap an eight-game losing streak when it returns to action Thursday at Cal State Fullerton to close out a four-game road stretch. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.