Long Beach State dominated the boards as they fought their way to a 63-50 win over the visiting Cal State Northridge Matadors on Wednesday.
Lauren Sims got a double-double with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Her rebound total matches a career high. Sims went 3-of-5 from long range and shot 55 percent overall. She has been able to score against Northridge this season, recording a total of 43 points in their two meetings.
Sims was the only player for the 49ers in double figures.
The win puts the team one-half game above UC Irvine in the Big West Conference standings with four games remaining in the season.
LBSU (6-17, 3-8 Big West) was able to overcome a sloppy 30 turnovers and a low 57.9 percent from the free-throw line. Freshman point guard Adelle Walton and junior Whitney Fields combined for 18 of the teams turnovers in game.
Mary Hegarty, the 49ers head coach, said, “We were able to respond to mistakes with solid defense and dominant work on the boards.”
LBSU’s defense held the Matadors to only 16 points in the first half and 28.8 percent shooting for the game. The team was able to hold their opponent to 50, the lowest point total allowed by the 49ers this season. Northridge was averaging 65 points per game within the Big West.
LBSU was able to contain Matador forward Jasmine Erving to 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Erving was a force down low in the teams’ last meeting, going for 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The 49ers out-rebounded Northridge by 19, which was a big key to their success tonight.
Hegarty said, “Sims is the hardest worker in the program. For a someone who is 5’8″ to get that many rebounds shows pure effort.”
Sims said, “We came into this wanting to fight the whole game.” LBSU had a big lead and let the game slip away the last time they played the Matadors.
Junior forward Brett Timmons hit big shots down the stretch. She had seven points during a 10-0 Long Beach run in the second half, which gave the 49ers a 14-point lead with 11 minutes remaining.
The 49ers will return to action at Texas Pan-American on Saturday. The game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.