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Long Beach Women Fall to Texas

Times Staff Writer

Apparently, the University of Texas women’s basketball team is growing weary of hearing its death knell sound at every turn.

This is the team so beset by injuries that it has only eight players suit up and relies on a center with an injured knee and a bad back. This is the dynasty team that had three straight losses.

They have been hearing all about that lately.

But this is the team that shut down Cal State Long Beach’s running game and handed the 49ers a rare loss at home Saturday. The 13th-ranked Longhorns beat the 7th-ranked 49ers, 87-83, in a wild game before 1,943.

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It was a much-needed victory for Texas (4-4) and a dramatic about-face for Long Beach (7-4), which had played its best game of the season Thursday night.

“It seems to me that we have two teams,” Long Beach Coach Joan Bonvicini said. “The one that played today and the one that played Thursday.”

For Texas Coach Jody Conradt, Saturday’s victory was both a confidence-builder and motivator.

“I didn’t want to become complacent with losing and excuse themselves for whatever shortcomings they might have had,” Conradt said, although few shortcomings are apparent on her well-disciplined hard-working team.

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Texas led from the start and forced Long Beach to press in coming from behind.

The 49ers made a run with Texas leading, 69-57, with 10:35 left. After one Texas basket, Traci Waites scored from 18 feet, and Penny Toler and Shameil Coleman made two free throws each. Toler then scored off a steal to bring Long Beach to within four, and freshman center Janet Haneberg’s jumper from the top of the key made it 69-67.

Texas then outscored Long Beach, 8-1, to regain control.

The 49ers again rallied, closing to within 4 points with 17 seconds left when Lisa Reslock’s two free throws made it 83-79.

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It looked even better for Long Beach when Clarissa Davis, Texas’ heart and leading scorer, fouled out with 8 seconds left, but she had already supplied the damage.

Davis led all scorers with 37 points. She had 5 steals and shot well--12 of 17 from the floor and 13 of 15 from the free-throw line.

Davis--with a back injury and a newly reconstructed left knee, which was protected by a brace--was superb.

“She’s awesome,” Bonvicini said. Even though Long Beach forced 29 turnovers, it was unable to convert. Texas out-rebounded the 49ers, 41-33.

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Toler led the 49ers with 27 points. Waites had 22.

49er Notes

Senior Cheryl Dowell, who had played so well Thursday night, did not play Saturday. Reason? She arrived 25 minutes late to the pregame shoot around and Coach Joan Bonvicini ordered Dowell’s uniform locked away. Reached at her apartment during the game, Dowell said she had driven her brother, Derrick, to the hospital after he apparently had an allergic reaction to something. “When I got to the gym, Joan just didn’t want to hear what I had to say,” Dowell said. Derrick attended Saturday’s game. . . . It has been 6 years since Long Beach has lost 2 games at home in an one season. The 49ers have lost two this week.


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