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49ers respond from loss to UCI with British Night win over UCR

Raven Benton comes off the bench to lead LBSU past the Highlanders.

Michael Morris, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Long Beach State women’s basketball team split their games against UC Irvine and UC Riverside, falling at UCI 78-58 on Thursday before defeating the Highlanders at the Walter Pyramid, 65-52.

Both games featured slow starts out of the gate, with the 49ers not hitting double figures until the five-minute mark against the Anteaters. On Saturday, both teams managed to score just five points in the first seven minutes of play.

But while LBSU was unable to recover from their slow start on Thursday, freshmen Raven Benton and Anna Kim made sure the same couldn’t be said on British Night.

“Raven Benton did a really nice job,” head coach Jody Wynn said. “She got frustrated at times, but she got offensive rebounds and did a good job of controlling the glass. She finished around the rim really well, which then made her relax in terms of her perimeter game.”

Benton led the way with 19 points, 15 of which were scored in the first half. Benton underperformed on Thursday and was brought in off the bench Saturday.

“Tonight we started the players who got the most rebounds on Thursday,” Wynn said.

That gave The Beach a starting lineup of Kim, Jade Wilson, Madison Montgomery, Hallie Meneses and Lauren Spargo. But Benton also came off the bench for different reasons.

“We brought Raven [Benton] in off the bench so she could watch the game and not get a quick foul in the first minute like she has been getting recently,” Wynn said.

The Big West’s most efficient scorer said she hasn’t started off games how she’d like.

“The last few games I started off cold, so when I was on the bench, I wanted to come out and try to give some energy,” Benton said. “I dove for a loose ball and that really got me going.”

While Benton was the reason for the 49ers’ success early on, Kim played just as important of a role in the second half, scoring 9 of her 12 points in that period. Kim was 4-for-6 on the night and 3-of-3 from downtown.

The Beach worked a 10-point cushion for much of the second half, using a 12-4 run to make it 15 with 1:08 left before handing UCR their 18th loss of the season and ninth straight to a Big West opponent.

UCR guard Brittany Crain, the Big West’s second-highest scorer, managed to register a game-high 20 points on 7-for-20 shooting.

Spargo and Montgomery each scored 10 and grabbed five boards a piece.

The next two games will be spent on the road as The Beach travels to Santa Barbara on Thursday, followed by a Saturday afternoon game at reigning Big West champ Cal Poly. In their previous meeting, the 49ers lost to the Mustangs in double overtime, 107-102.

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One Response to “49ers respond from loss to UCI with British Night win over UCR”

  1. ThisJustM on April 1st, 2014 11:55 am

    […] Raven Benton comes off the bench to lead LBSU past the Highlanders. […]

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