NACOGDOCHES, Tex. — Having barely survived what was expected to be an easy first-round game against California, the Cal State Long Beach women's basketball team has come here to face what probably will be a tougher opponent in Stephen F. Austin.
The sixth-ranked Ladyjacks (27-2) played well enough this season to be selected as the No. 3-seeded team in the West. They have lost only once--to No. 1-ranked Louisiana Tech--at home.
Tonight's second-round game begins at 5 (PST) and should the 49ers (25-8) advance, they will go to Stanford for a semifinal matchup against the winner of tonight's Georgia-Arkansas game.
Long Beach has not played played very well against ranked teams this season, going 4-8 against those in the top 25. For the 49ers to have a chance, they are going to have to loosen up, according to Coach Joan Bonvicini.
"Trise (Jackson) and Angie (Lee) were as tight as a drum," Bonvicini said after Wednesday night's 87-84 victory over unranked Cal. "I'm so happy just to get that game out of the way."
Lee, though she scored 17 points and had 14 rebounds, fouled out with 1:10 remaining and the 49ers leading by one point. Jackson, one of the fastest players in the nation, was at times out of control and finished with 12 points.
"Hopefully, they will have gotten any nervousness they might have had out of their systems and will be ready to move on," Bonvicini said.
The calmest 49er player on the floor was 6-foot-2 sophomore forward Kari Parriott, who in only 28 minutes scored 21 points, including 15 in the second half.
Leading the way for the Ladyjacks has been Portia Hill, two-time Southland Conference player of the year. She is averaging 22.7 points and 10.9 rebounds.
Stephen F. Austin Coach Gary Blair said: "Their style is similar to ours. The only difference is, their guards are quicker and they're bigger inside. So, basically they've got the size, I've got a little more depth--I play nine kids, she basically plays six or seven."