Women’s basketball: 49ers come from behind to defeat Cal State Fullerton

Jason Clark, Sports Editor

After being on the losing end of a close contest with UC Riverside two days ago, the Long Beach State women’s basketball team took the win in a game against Cal State Fullerton that once again came down to the wire.

The 49ers came back from a deficit that was once as large as 12 points, but they outscored the Titans by 14 in the final five minutes to win 45-39. On Thursday, they gave up a 12-point lead of their own before succumbing to UCR in the final seconds.

When asked how important today’s win was after losing the last time out, head coach Jody Wynn responded “very.”

“We needed to get a little bit of our confidence back,” she said. “Our goal is always to protect our home court…we couldn’t sulk on [Thursday’s loss], and we had to figure out how to win tonight.”

The ‘Niners (10-8, 3-3 Big West Conference) made winning difficult on themselves, as they turned the ball over 23 times and shot 36.4 percent from the field. They had some help though, as the Titans (7-10, 2-3 Big West) had 22 turnovers of their own and shot a miserable 19 percent.

Leading LBSU was Devin Hudson, who recorded a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. She and Lauren Spargo (11) were the only 49ers to score in double figures.

“Devin [Hudson] played like a woman tonight,” Wynn said. “She’s big on the boards and made a lot of big plays.”

Hudson, however, is still growing into her role as a leading scorer.

“I don’t care about scoring as much,” she said. “I always think rebound first, so me scoring is still kind of new.”

At a critical point in the 49ers’ comeback, Hudson was temporarily relieved of her duty as the go-to scorer. With 3:13 remaining in the second half and down by three, LBSU inbounded the ball with two seconds left on the shot clock. The plan was to set a screen and pass the ball inside for Hudson to get the layup, but things didn’t work out that way. Instead, the 49ers were forced to pass outside to Spargo, who nailed a game-tying 3-pointed from well beyond the arc.

“Right when I got it, I was like, I’m going to let this fly now,” Spargo said. “That was the biggest shot of my [LBSU career] for sure.”

Spargo hit another 3-pointer not too long after to put The Beach ahead. With 1:40 left on the clock, all that was left for the ‘Niners to do was play defense. They limited the Titans and their top scorer, Alex Thomas, to just a free throw in that span, and took the win.

Thomas, who scored Fullerton’s first ten points of the game, led all scorers with a career-high 20 points.

The 49ers will play their next game a week from now when they take on UC Irvine at the Walter Pyramid.