Daily 49er

Clutch baskets down the stretch lead to win over Cal Poly

Senior Karina Figueroa's 26 points helps 49er women get payback against Mustangs

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Clutch baskets down the stretch lead to win over Cal Poly

Senior Karina Figueroa led he 49ers with 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Long Beach State's 72-65 win over Cal Poly Thursday night at the Walter Pyramid. LBSU (10-13, 6-4 Big West Conference) sits in fourth place in the current Big West standings.

Senior Karina Figueroa led he 49ers with 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Long Beach State's 72-65 win over Cal Poly Thursday night at the Walter Pyramid. LBSU (10-13, 6-4 Big West Conference) sits in fourth place in the current Big West standings.

Michael Chan Yee / Daily 49er

Senior Karina Figueroa led he 49ers with 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Long Beach State's 72-65 win over Cal Poly Thursday night at the Walter Pyramid. LBSU (10-13, 6-4 Big West Conference) sits in fourth place in the current Big West standings.

Michael Chan Yee / Daily 49er

Michael Chan Yee / Daily 49er

Senior Karina Figueroa led he 49ers with 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Long Beach State's 72-65 win over Cal Poly Thursday night at the Walter Pyramid. LBSU (10-13, 6-4 Big West Conference) sits in fourth place in the current Big West standings.

Andrea C. Quezada, Assistant sports editor

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Box score

Late-game shifts in momentum are proving to be invaluable to the Long Beach State women’s basketball team.

The 49ers’ most recent second-half surge propelled them to a 72-65 victory over Big West Conference leader Cal Poly on Thursday night at the Walter Pyramid.

“We wanted this game so bad since the last time we played them … it’s our home court, our territory and we just gave it to them,” senior guard Karina Figueroa said.

LBSU (10-13, 6-4 Big West) led by as many as 15 points early in the second half, but Cal Poly clawed its way back into the game with a 24-5 run, which gave the Mustangs a 48-46 advantage with 9:07 left to play.

A turn around jumper by sophomore guard Tipesa Moorer and a bucket by Figueroa would tie the game at 52 apiece.

LBSU regained the lead, 58-54, with 5:36 remaining after Figueroa knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers.

The duration of the game from then on was intense.

Cal Poly’s Kristina Santiago evened up the score 63-63 after making a pair of free-throws.

Figueroa next found senior forward Ally Wade underneath the basket. Wade banked a shot off the glass to put The Beach back on top, 65-63, with 2:05 on the clock.

Santiago tied the score for the final time of the night, 65-65, before the 49ers pulled ahead, 67-65, on a short jumper by Figueroa.

With 48.7 seconds left, Cal Poly (15-8, 8-3 Big West) had possession and Long Beach put on the full court pressure.

The Mustangs’ Ashlee Stewart lost the ball as Figueroa stole the inbounds pass and called a timeout. Figueroa sank two free-throws after being fouled.

Moorer went 2-of-3 from the charity stripe during the final seconds to seal the win for the ‘Niners.

“I was so happy and so pleased about the players’ effort,” 49er head coach Jody Wynn said. “Tonight … it was about performances and strategy. Our kids, they were ready and they were fired up.”

LBSU performed well across the board, shooting 46.6 percent (27-of-58) from the field, 42.9 percent (9-of-21) from beyond the arc and 81.8 percent (9-of-11) from the foul line.
After being outrebounded 51-31 by Cal Poly earlier this season in an 86-63 defeat, the 49ers controlled the boards with a 37-32 advantage the second time around.

Leading the way for The Beach was Figueroa, whom Wynn said was a warrior who refused to lose. Figueroa scored a game-high 26 points (24 of which came in the second half), including four 3s, eight rebounds, and seven assists.

Moorer added 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Wade contributed 13 and also finished with seven rebounds.

“Ally Wade had 13 and 7 but I promise you, the majority of what she did good didn’t show up on the stat sheet tonight,” Wynn said.

Santiago was the leading scorer for Cal Poly, finishing with 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Becky Tratter chipped in with 14 for the Mustangs.

The Beach continues Big West action on Saturday when it goes up against UC Santa Barbara. Tip-off is scheduled for 4p.m.

After the game, Wade said the win was a little bit of revenge for the two teams’ prior meeting, but praised the 49ers ability to get the job done.

She said, “We’re playing our best basketball right now and we just need to keep it up and keep focused.”

 

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