Amid a flurry of slapping hands as she grabbed an offensive rebound, senior guard Cecily Wilson kept her composure and snatched the ball in mid-air, forcing the referee to call a foul.
Smiling as she walked to the free-throw line, she knocked down both, adding to her career-high 24 points. That effort exemplified the 49ers’ night as they defeated Fullerton, 67-47.
This marked Long Beach State women’s basketball team’s first home win in conference play. Although the game was mired in sloppy play in the third quarter, Long Beach’s (4-22, 2-10 Big West) overall effort on both ends downed Fullerton (7-18, 2-10 Big West) to gain ground in the Big West Conference.
“Finally, we got a home win,” said head coach Jeff Cammon. “It feels really good.”
Long Beach started the game with energy, with Wilson was active on the offensive end, racking up seven quick points for the 49ers.
Not only were the players energized, but assistant coach Bryan Camacho was especially lively on the sidelines. He was urging the team to get into proper defensive positions and made sure no easy baskets were to be had by Fullerton.
“It’s a credit to the kids,” assistant coach Bryan Camacho said of the defense. “They definitely sacrificed today, very unselfish.”
After Fullerton whittled the lead to eight, Freshman guard Shanaijah Davison extended the lead back up to 10 with a 3-pointer in the waning moments of the first half. At the end of the first half, Wilson led all scorers with 16 points as the 49ers led 33-23 while freshman forward Triann Thompson had seven points for the Titans.
Though a Thompson 3-pointer would cut the Titan deficit to five with 2:31 left in the third quarter, the 49ers would go on an 8-0 run capped off by a 3-pointer off an elevator play by freshman guard Mason VanHouten to extend the lead to 13, 51-38, going into the fourth.
The Titans became complacent on offense and began taking bad shots in the final period. This allowed the lead to go up to as much as 24, with Wilson scoring six of her 24 in the fourth.
“I was feeling good earlier today in shootaround and throughout the game,” Wilson said. “I think my teammates did a really good job of getting me the ball.”
In the end, the hole that the Titans found themselves in was just too deep to climb out of. Wilson led all scorers with 24 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Jade Vega led the way for the Titans with 14 points.
The 49ers have a quick one-game road trip at 7 p.m. Wednesday against UC Irvine.