Women's Basketball, Women's Sports

LBSU drops thriller, defeats Fullerton

The Long Beach State women’s basketball team split a pair of weekend conference games with a 47-46 on Thursday loss to Hawaii and 69-62 win on Sunday at Cal State Fullerton.

With 33 seconds left against Hawaii (20-7, 12-2), senior guard Hallie Meneses slashed into the paint for two of her 19 points, cutting the 49ers’ (20-7, 7-6) deficit to one. However, the 49ers’ decision to not foul on the ensuing Hawaii possession allowed the Rainbow Wahine to drain the clock.

“To be honest, I thought [Hawaii] was rattled,” LBSU head coach Jody Wynn said. “In retrospect, I probably should have fouled and sent them to the line.”

With two seconds left to play, Meneses only made it past half court before losing the handle on the ball as the clock expired.

“I’m proud of our effort,” Wynn said. “It shows how much heart our team has. We all battled. We were undersized and playing five guards out there. Then [Anna Kim] goes down and we lose Anna for the whole second half. It’s tough, but I’m proud of their heart.”

On offense, team-captain Meneses led the way with 50 percent shooting from the field and 60 percent from beyond the arc. She said usually she tries to share the ball, but decided to take initiative in the loss against Hawaii.

The 49ers led for more than 13 minutes in the second half, but Hawaii managed to overcome the 49ers by outrebounding LBSU 44-27, which created extra offensive possessions for the Rainbow Wahine.

“I would say fatigue hit us in the second half, because in the first half we were good and had legs,” senior guard Alex Sanchez said. “Our legs played a factor in our shooting.”

With its size and depth, the Rainbow Wahine pounded the 49ers hard inside for 30 points in the paint.

“It showed Hawaii is bigger and tougher,” Sanchez said. “But our strategy was taking away more of the inside than the outside.”

LBSU had one of its best three-point shooting and defensive performances of the season, shooting seven of ten from deep while holding Hawaii without a three-pointer on nine attempts.

“Hallie and Alex basically said ‘get on my back,’” Wynn said. “They’re seniors and they’re going to fight until the end. [Senior guard Lauren] Spargo battled too, but sometimes you can’t control if the ball goes in.”

The 49ers bounced back in their second game of the weekend at Cal State Fullerton (10-17, 4-10), defeating the Titans 69-62 on Feb. 28.

Three players scored in double figures for LBSU: Spargo (17), Meneses (16) and freshman guard Cecily Wilson, who had the best career of her game with 12 points on five of six shooting.

CSUF head coach Daren Park told the Daily Titan the 49ers’ tenacity was the difference.

“Kids that are role players for them stepped up today and wanted to win a game,” Park said. “I can’t tell you how many three’s they made with two seconds left on the shot clock.”

The 49ers will play their final road game of the season at Cal State Northridge Thursday night at 7 p.m.

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