Jan. 8, 2009

Courtesy of Long Beach State

LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's basketball team suffered a 76-62 setback at the hands of Pacific in front of a record-breaking crowd of 2,656 fans Thursday afternoon at the Walter Pyramid.

Junior Courtney Jacob led a balanced attack for The Beach with 14 points and six rebounds. Junior Whitney Fields had another solid performance with her third straight double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds), while adding five assists. Junior Lauren Sims also poured in 13 points and freshman Adelle Walton chipped in 10 points and four helpers.

Pacific (8-6, 2-0 Big West Conference), which picked up its first road win of the season, outrebounded LBSU, 50-40.

Long Beach State jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first minute of action before Pacific went on a 7-2 run to even the score at 7-7. The Beach responded, however, taking a 12-7 advantage when Fields sank a free throw to complete a three-point play. UOP would continue to play catch-up from there as it was never able to pull ahead. The Tigers came within three at the 1:08 mark, but Sims closed out the period with five of her 11 first-half points to give the 49ers a 37-30 lead at intermission.

LBSU shot 46.7 percent (14-for-30) from the field, while holding the Tigers to just 25.6 percent in the first half, but UOP was able to stay close as it grabbed 17 offensive rebounds en route to a 27-19 advantage on the boards.

Pacific came out strong after the break, taking its first lead of the game at 47-45, with 13:25 left to play. UOP, which hit 16 of its 27 second-half shot attempts (59.3 percent), continued to build on its lead, going up by 12 points (66-54) at the 5:25 mark.

The Beach cut the deficit to seven at 67-60 with 1:28 remaining, but the Tigers sank nine free-throws down the stretch to come away with the 76-62 victory.

Janae Young paced Pacific with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Amy VanHollebeke added 15 points and seven assists.

Participating in the NCAA `Pack the House Challenge,' Long Beach State set a school record with 2,656 fans in attendance, which included students from the Long Beach Unified School District's GEAR UP program.

The 49ers will return to the Walter Pyramid on Saturday, Jan. 10, when they entertain UC Davis in a 5 p.m. (PST) Big West showdown.