The Cal State Long Beach women's basketball team is trying not to look ahead to next week's game against USC, but it's having a difficult time.
The 49ers (12-2) beat UCLA (8-10) with little trouble Tuesday night, 79-56, in front of 1,314 at Long Beach. That's the first step. Judging by the way the 49ers played, they are ready for USC.
Long Beach played tenacious defense and, after a brief lapse in the first half, got its running offense going.
"I thought our defense made our offense in the first half," Long Beach Coach Joan Bonvicini said. "I think it got to UCLA. They were scared to bring the ball up against that pressure."
Despite several lineup changes, UCLA was unable to find a combination that could produce points or shut down the Long Beach fast break.
"We didn't show the poise I thought we could show," UCLA Coach Billie Moore said. "I think we got caught up in it. We just broke down fundamentally."
Anne Dean's jumper from the baseline tied it at 13-13, and Dora Dome scored on a breakaway less than a minute later to tie it at 15-15. But the Bruins were shut out for the next 4 1/2 minutes as Long Beach scored nine points to take a 24-15 lead.
The first half was sloppy and was marked by a total of 19 fouls. The Long Beach full-court press, among other things, forced the Bruins into committing 12 turnovers in the half.
Cindy Brown, held to eight points in the first half, got going in the second half and led all scorers with 20 points while getting 11 rebounds. Carol Brandt had 14 points for the 49ers.
Jaime Brown had 18 points to lead the Bruins. Shari Biggs, while seeing limited action, scored 14 and had 6 rebounds for UCLA.