Sports, Women's Basketball, Women's Sports

49ers blow out the Gauchos by 30                                                      

Inside a quiet and nearly empty arena, the Long Beach State women’s basketball team blasted winless UC Santa Barbara 68-38 on Thursday night in the Walter Pyramid.

Despite playing in front of a small crowd, the 49ers (20-4, 7-3) enjoyed the silence, limiting UCSB (0-22, 0-9) to a combined 38 points en route to its 20th win of the season.

“As long as we have our loyal fans, we’re ok,” junior center Devin Hudson said. “We’re just going to keep winning and proving to people who we are.”

The Beach had a terrific defensive effort after giving up 80 points against UC Riverside by surrendering its lowest point total of the season. Head coach Jody Wynn said she was really proud of the team’s defensive performance

LBSU’s offense got off to a slow start in the first half, turning the ball over 12 times. Hudson said team captain Hallie Meneses helped the team stay poised during a timeout when the team was struggling.

“Hallie brings a lot of composure,” Hudson said. “So when she slows down, it slows us down. At the first timeout, she was telling us ‘slow down, slow down.’”

The Beach’s defensive scheme stymied the Gauchos’ offense, keeping them without a field goal for the first four minutes of the game. Hudson said the shutdown performance helps the 49ers retool going into its next conference matchup against Cal Poly.

“The last couple of games we kind of got away from our defense and what we do,” Hudson said. “Playing against a team like [UCSB] and forcing them into 23 turnovers helps us going into Saturday’s game because we know what we have to do.”

Wynn said good team defense and communication helped the 49ers breeze to a 30-point blowout.

“[We’re] playing as a unit,” Wynn said. “I’m talking about direction, action and defensive rebounding. And that propelled us to some pretty good offense.”

LBSU catapulted to a 37-16 lead at halftime, after senior guard Lauren Spargo drained a three pointer. Spargo said the 49ers’ unselfishness and ball movement helped reestablish their offensive approach.

“We played really good team ball today,” Spargo said. “We weren’t selfish and moved the ball around to get the best shot for whoever was open. We’re trying to get back to playing as hard as we did in the preseason.”

The 49ers will hit the road for their next matchup on Thursday night at UC Davis at 7 pm.

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