West Regional at Long Beach : 49ers Win It in Overtime, 78-73

Times Staff Writer

Despite a furious Texas Tech comeback that tied the game and an outstanding shooting performance by Tech's Sharon Cain, Cal State Long Beach defeated the Red Raiders, 78-73, in overtime Saturday night before 1,347 at Long Beach in the second round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

The 49ers next face No. 4 Louisiana Tech in the semifinals of the West Regional Thursday night at Long Beach.

Cain was 9 of 13 from the field and 3 of 4 from the line and scored 21 points. She was perfect in the first half.

And it was Cain who, with eight seconds left in regulation and Tech down by two, calmly pulled up and hit a 20-footer to tie the game at 66-66 and send it into overtime.

Tech outscored Long Beach, 12-2, in the last seven minutes of regulation to tie it.

"Our kids have done a good job of coming back," Tech Coach Martha Sharp said. "They've done it all year."

But in the overtime, with 6-6 center Julia Koncak on the bench with five fouls, Cain did not score.

"We knew it was going to be a real tough game," Long Beach Coach Joan Bonvicini said. "I'm just glad we won."

Long Beach had as much as a seven-point lead in the first half until Cain brought Tech back. The senior from San Antonio made 6 of 6 from the field and 2 of 2 from the line to lead the Red Raiders in the half with 14 points.

"Cain played a great game," Bonvicini said. "We were concentrating more on (Tricia) Clay in the first half. Our scouting said she (Cain) was a streak shooter. I guess this was a good streak for her.

Koncak shot 50% from both the floor and the free-throw line in the first half and had 13 points before halftime. She exchanged a few words with Long Beach center Cindy Brown, and the two battled the rest of the game.

"I thought it was fun," Brown said of her faceoff with Koncak.

Brown committed three turnovers in the half, but she had 10 points and, more importantly, had four rebounds and two blocked shots in the first half.

Koncak's basket with 8:45 left in the half gave the Red Raiders the lead for the first time, 21-20. Tech raised its lead to three points several times, but Brown's two quick baskets and Cheryl Dowell's field goal and two free throws gave Long Beach a 36-33 halftime lead.

For Long Beach, Brown finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds while Carol Brandt had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Besides her 21 points, Cain had 9 assists, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Koncak scored 17 points and Clay had 14 for Tech.

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