LONG BEACH, Calif. - Long Beach State University made the first shot in overtime and never trailed in the extra session to defeat the Canisius women's basketball team 72-67 in the opening game of the Beach Classic at the Walter Pyramid on Thursday night.
Kayla Hoohuli led Canisius with 18
points, making four 3-pointers on the game. Senior Ashley Durham had 14 points, four rebounds, four assists and three
steals. Freshman Tiahana Mills had
seven points, six rebounds and five assists while senior Allison Braun pulled down six offensive rebounds.
"I was really pleased with our effort and energy tonight, but we got back on our heels a little bit when Long Beach made its run," Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. "We have to stay mentally strong when we get physically tired and not give in to the fatigue.
"It would have been great to build off a win, but we will have to learn from this loss. We can't accept it but we can take some good things from it and build."
Canisius (2-7) jumped out to a 14-7 lead seven minutes into the game. The Griffs drained four 3-pointers in that opening stretch, capped by a run-out layup from Durham. Long Beach trimmed the Canisius lead to 16-13, but the Griffs came back with eight straight points to go up by 11 points on a deep 3-pointer from Durham.
The Griffs would start 15-for-24 from the field en route to shooting 53.6 percent in the first half. Canisius had its biggest lead of the half at 15 points, going up 37-22 on a jumper from Hoohuli with 3:41 left in the half. The Griffs took a 41-30 lead into the locker room, draining seven 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes.
Long Beach State (5-5) cut the Canisius lead to 44-37 but Durham answered with a pull-up jumper to push the lead to nine. The 49ers came back with a 3-pointer from Chantel Dooley to make it a six-point game but Hoohuli fed junior Jamie Ruttle with a bounce pass down the lane to give Canisius the eight-point advantage.
The 49ers continued to chip away at the lead in a slower-paced second half. A 3-pointer and fast-break layup from Lauren Spargo trimmed the Canisius advantage to 50-47 with 8:46 left. Out of a Golden Griffin timeout, Hoohuli drained a 3-pointer to double the Canisius lead. The Griffs held the 49ers without a basket for four and a half minutes, extending the lead to 55-47. The 49ers made another run, scoring seven straight points to cut the Canisius lead to 55-54 after a layup off a steal with just over four minutes left.
A floater from Mills as the shot clock expired put Canisius back up by three points. A 3-pointer from Spargo tied the game at 57-57 with just over two minutes remaining. Neither team would score in the final two minutes, including a possession where the Griffs got three offensive rebounds but couldn't make the go-ahead basket. Each team had a possession in the final minute, with Canisius forcing a turnover on Long Beach State's possession. A 3-pointer from the wing from Hoohuli hit the back iron in the final seconds.
Ella Clark gave Long Beach State the lead on the first possession of overtime, draining a 3-pointer from the wing. The Griffs would eventually get within two after a baseline jumper from Mills with 2:20 left. The 49ers then used a three-point play from Devin Hudson to go up by five.
Durham drained two free throws but Clark then made her second 3-pointer of the extra session to put Long Beach State up by six. A putback from Braun made it 69-65 but the Griffs would get no closer as Long Beach put the game away from the free-throw line.
Canisius will play at 8 p.m. in the consolation game of the Beach Classic facing Albany, who lost to Sam Houston State in overtime.
Notes: Canisius is playing in the state of California for the fourth time in program history and for the first time since a 71-61 win at San Diego State on Jan. 4, 2005... Durham made her first start of the season... The 41 first-half points for the Griffs were the most since they scored 41 against Rider on Feb. 20, 2011... Canisius shot 50 percent or better in a half for the first time since shooting 54.2 percent at Loyola on Feb. 2, 2012... Canisius played its first overtime game of the season... Hoohuli's previous season high was nine points... The Griffs held a 13-2 advantage in points off turnovers at the half, but were outscored 14-6 in the category in the second half and overtime as Canisius committed 17 turnovers after halftime.