Women's Hoops Drops Home Opener To Long Beach, 68-60

Hailie Eackles (photo by Reagan Lunn)
Hailie Eackles (photo by Reagan Lunn)
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Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific women's basketball team fell 68-60 in their first home game of the season to Long Beach State as the 49ers posted a hot-shooting second half.

After holding Long Beach State to just 38.7 percent shooting from the field in the first half, the Tigers were unable to contain the hot streak for the 49ers in the second half.  Long Beach State shot 56.5% in the third and fourth quarters en route to 36 points.

The Tigers ended the game with three players in double figures, with Hailie Eackles leading the way with 17.  Erin Butler came just one rebound away from a double-double, ending the game with 12 points and nine rebounds.  GeAnna Luaulu-Summers followed up her 37-point game against Gardner-Webb and WCC Player of the Week selection with a 10-point effort and has now reached double figures in five of seven games this year. Emily Simons scored eight points on four-of-four shooting. Najah Queenland handed out five assists to go with

Pacific drops to 4-3 this season, with a road trip to Arizona to play the Wildcats coming this Saturday. Long Beach State connected on 9-for-13 from the field in the third quarter to seize control and improve to 6-1 with the victory.

Despite forcing six turnovers after the halftime break, the Tigers couldn't match the shooting for the 49ers, hitting just 27.3% of their shots in the second.  Pacific was unable to keep up on the glass as Long Beach State out-rebounded them 22-16 in the second half after the Tigers held a 24-14 edge in the first half.

The game opened with Butler hitting one-of-two from the free throw line before the tip on an administrative technical, and then she drained a three pointer for a 4-2 lead after the Tigers first possession. Butler added a three and then Eackles found Simons underneath for back-to-back lay-ups and an 11-6 lead. Long Beach State pulled within 13-12 on a three from Gigi Hascheff before Eackles gave the Tigers a 19-15 lead with a triple to close the first quarter.

In the second, the 49ers opened with seven-straight points, capped by another Hascheff three to give Long Beach State the lead at 22-19. A pair of free throws from Desire Finnie tied the game at 25-25, and a three from Luaulu-Summers put Pacific in front 30-28. Long Beach State answered with four-straight points but Butler hit another three-pointer for a 33-32 lead with 1:20 to go in the half.

In the third quarter, Simons answered Long Beach State buckets with baskets inside as the Tigers led 37-36, but Jewelyn Sawyer and Madison Montgomery posted back-to-back lay-ups for the 49ers. Butler responded with a lay-in, and Desire Finnie add a three to put Pacific back in front, 42-40.  Jessica Gertz struck back with an LBSU three, and Raven Benton converted an and-one. The 49ers closed the third quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 53-44 lead into the fourth.

Najah Queenland opened the fourth with a three-pointer, and Eackles added a deep ball to cut the 49ers lead to five, 55-50. Benton hit a jumper with the shot clock expiring for a 62-54 Long Beach State lead with 4:09 to go. Long Beach State stretched the lead to nine, before Eackles answered with a three-pointer, but the Tigers trailed 65-59 with 2:00 to play.

Pacific posted a pair of defensive stops, but missed on a pair of three-pointers, and each team tallied from the free throw line to settle on the final score.

Next on the docket for Pacific is a one-game road trip to Arizona this Saturday.  The Tigers will play the Arizona Wildcats at noon on Saturday before coming back home for a three-game home stand.  The home stand will begin with a game against San Jose State on December 12.

Follow Pacific women's hoops on Twitter with the username @Pacific_Hoops and on Instagram at pacificwbb.