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Women’s basketball winning streak ends at 15

LBSU can’t overcome second half collapse en route to its third loss of the season.

Greg Diaz

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Women’s basketball winning streak ends at 15

Will Hernandez, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Long Beach State women’s basketball team’s 15 game winning streak came to an end on Saturday night with a 67-52 loss to Cal State Northridge in the Walter Pyramid.

The 49ers’ (17-2, 4-1) loss to the defending Big West Conference champion CSUN (14-6, 4-2) ended the program’s longest winning streak since the 1990-91 season. Matadors head coach Jason Flowers said he talked to his team about the winning streak, but it was nothing to be intimidated about.

“I have a lot of respect for [LBSU],” Flowers said. “But they’re just like any other opponent. It was just a matter of us doing the things we know how to do.”

After shooting 40 percent and leading 29-20 at the half, the 49ers came out flat in the second half with 23.5 percent from the field, going eight of 34.

“We just didn’t move the ball around like we did in the first,” sophomore Point Guard Anna Kim said. “We’re a great shooting team. I just think we didn’t move the ball around well enough, and that created tougher shots for us.”

Kim, who injured her ankle on Jan. 15 against Cal Poly, dropped 12 points. She said the injury she suffered last week had no effect on her play against CSUN.

In the second half, CSUN controlled the glass and outrebounded the 49ers 55-33 for the game. The Matadors shot 46 percent in second half, including an impressive 50 percent from beyond the arc. Junior Guard Ashlee Guay scored a game-high 18 points while dishing four assists and grabbing six rebounds.

The Matadors took advantage of LBSU’s transition defense, which failed to recover in time and resulted in easy buckets for CSUN.

“The momentum definitely turned, and I feel like they got defensive stops,” LBSU head coach Jody Wynn said. “We had to play too much transition defense in the second half, and they were able to penetrate much easier in the second half because of their defensive rebounding.”

The pressure of CSUN’s defense forced LBSU into taking uncharacteristic and off-target shots. Kim said the loss would be motivation for the team.

“We’ll be ready to play against Hawaii, which is another good team,” Kim said. “Now we understand that everyone is coming after us, and we can’t play like we did in the second half.”

Sophomore guard Raven Benton led LBSU in scoring, securing four of 12 attempts including a shot from the three point line. Senior Guard Alex Sanchez, closing in on her record career 1000th point, was held to zero field goals and just two points.

Although The Beach struggled in the second half of Saturday’s contest, Wynn said she wasn’t concerned about her team having a repeat performance in the 49ers’ next contest in Hawaii.

“This is one loss in league,” Wynn said. “Our goal of winning the conference hasn’t been shattered, and on any given night in our conference, I feel like anyone can beat anybody. We have to get better and be ready to play a full 40 minutes.”

LBSU will travel to Honolulu to face Hawaii on Thursday night.

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