FULLERTON, Calif. — The Long Beach State women’s basketball team ended an eight-game losing skid Thursday night with a 54-51 win over Cal State Fullerton at Titan Gym.
Senior Lynea Williams led all scorers with 13 points off the bench while grabbing four rebounds, and junior Courtney Jacob added 11 points in 30 minutes.
Fullerton center Toni Thomas led the Titans with 10 points and 14 rebounds in 34 minutes. Thomas hit both of her free throws with 15 seconds left to pull her team within a point.
Ally Wade scored five points, including hitting the 49ers’ only 3-pointer of the night, which put the team up by six with 2:08 left in the game. Wade hit two free throws with 11 seconds left to secure the win.
LBSU (4-15, 1-6 Big West Conference) got off to a slow start, finding themselves in a 14-0 hole four minutes into the game.
“That’s how it’s been lately, with slow starts. Our plan was to fix that tonight,” Jacob said.
During a 30-second timeout, the team decided not to let it turn into another game where they lose it at the beginning. The team was able to cut the lead to eight points by halftime.
The 49ers shot only 34.5 percent in the first half, but stepped it up in the second half and ended the game shooting 43.4 percent — 10 percentage points higher than their Sunday loss against UC Riverside.
The team’s high second half percentage increase was largely due to the increase of points in the paint, outscoring the Titans by 14 down low.
Jacob said the plan in the second half was to have Williams drive to the basket and kick the ball out to open shooters, exposing the Titan’s defense.
LBSU was able to hold Fullerton to a lowly 26.2 percent from the field, showing stretches of lock-down defense in the second half to hold the Titans to 17.6 percent shooting.
The 49ers were able to get back into the game with a 17-9 run in the middle of the second half. They got their first lead at 45-43 with 5:39 left in the game. This was a big game for the team, which throughout the season struggled in the second half.
LBSU dominated the boards, 48-37, led by Jacob with 12.
The team looks to continue its strong defense and clutch shooting when they face UC Irvine at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday. The game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.