Long Beach State women’s basketball team nearly pulls off upset against Oregon State
The Beach gives Oregon State all they can handle in upset bid.
March 17, 2017
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After a stellar season by the Long Beach State women’s basketball team, their season came to an end on Friday, as they were defeated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Oregon State, 56-55, at the Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Oregon.
The Beach, who were the No. 15 seed in the Stockton Region Bracket, nearly pulled off an upset over the No. 2 seeded Beavers as they had possession of the ball seconds of the game.
During the final minute, LBSU had several opportunities to take the lead, but came away with five misses.
In the final 13 seconds of the game, senior Raven Benton drove to the basket and got fouled before she pulled up for a jump shot. LBSU wasn’t in the bonus yet, as the Beavers had four fouls to give late in the game.
LBSU then inbound the ball to Benton, who held onto the ball for one last shot. The 5-foot 10-inch senior pulled up for a jump shot with five seconds left on the clock missed.
But, senior Anna Kim was then able to get the the long offensive board with just enough time to pull up for one more shot that felt short.
“I think we put ourselves in position [to win the game],” 49ers head coach Jody Wynn said regarding the final minute of the game. “We battled for offensive rebounds so we got the ball. We drew a play out of a timeout and Raven drove to the rim off a screen we set for her and they fouled her intentionally. I think that [if] they had not fouled her, I think that could have been the game winner.”
Despite the loss, the 49ers played battled with the No. 8 team in the nation especially in the first half.
Seniors Benton and Madison Montgomery led the way in scoring for the Beach as both scored double-digit points in the first 20 minutes of the game.
One of their baskets came at the halftime buzzer, where Benton dropped a corner three to give the 49ers a 30-29 lead heading into the locker room.
“I think that this senior class was just so focused on this moment,” Wynn said. “They worked extremely hard to prepare for this opportunity and it wasn’t just preparation during the week it was their entire careers — to be able to get on this big stage and to play as seniors, they were very focused from opening tip all the way to the final buzzer. They locked in, they didn’t get rattled… and I’m just really proud of our performance tonight.”
The 49ers also forced the Beavers into coughing up the ball 10 times and kept their star senior Sydney Wiese scoreless through 20 minutes.
Wiese who won the 2017 PAC-12 Scholar Player of the Year award didn’t get her first basket until the 2:34 mark of the third quarter when she made a three.
The 49ers forced Wiese to go one of eight in shooting, but she would go on to finish the game with seven points as she drained two big free throws in the final minute of the game.
Despite the 49ers staunch defensive performance, LBSU was unable to slow down redshirt junior Breanna Brown in the fourth.
Brown was dominate in the paint during the final quarter as she scored eight out of the 12 Beaver points in the fourth. Brown finished the game with the Oregon State game-high of 12 points.
Another part of the LBSU defense that was not as strong in the second half was forcing turnovers. The 49ers forced the Beavers to cough up the ball just three times.
Despite the mishaps, the 49ers played a hard-fought game with Benton scoring the game-high by both teams with 17 points and Montgomery following suit with 15 points.Kim went scoreless in the game, but contributed two rebounds, two assists and one steal.Despite the loss, coach Wynn says that the team will take some time before getting ready for next season.
“We’re going to take a little break,” Wynn said. “Get back and just appreciate basically everything that this team has given us as coaches and as a program. Most importantly, just celebrate [the seniors] and be thankful and grateful for everything that they’ve been about for the past four years.”