Size was a clear advantage for the University of Arizona against Long Beach State Sunday as it lost its fourth in a row, falling to 1-9 on the season.
The Wildcats won the rebounding battle 52-to-29, often limiting the 49ers to one opportunity to finish shots in the paint, which led to a constant stream of easy buckets for Arizona in transition the other way. Long Beach would find itself in a deep hole early on ultimately dropping the match 70-43 at the Walter Pyramid.
“[We] competed … give their effort every night, obviously there’s a lot of room for improvement, you know, and we’ll go back to the drawing board in practice and prepare for the next game,” head coach Jeff Cammon said.
With excellent ball movement from Arizona, three pointers were raining from open drive-and-kick opportunities, while the 49ers defense was being kept on their heels.
Looking for energy from the bench, Cammon inserted sophomore guard Bria Rice into the action after battling injuries in the beginning of the season.
“She definitely brings energy and toughness at the defensive end of the floor, so we expect her to continue to improve, get better, and I’m excited that she’s able to get out on the basketball floor,” Cammon said.
With the team struggling as a whole to get their rhythm going, freshman forward Jasmine Hardy was the lone player to put her stamp on the game, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds.
“Even though I’m scoring, I feel like it’s a team game, so my team helped me score 15 and I feel like if I didn’t have my team I wouldn’t have been able to do that,” Hardy said.
The motto for the team is “We, not me,” and Cammon is implementing that concept with all of his players during this rough patch.
“Right now we’re trying to throw kids out there to see what they can do and get some experience and as that’s going on I think they’re … finding out who they are, what we do at both ends of the floor so, just stay confident, get the experience, get the minutes, and you know, we’ll continue to get better,” Cammon said.
The 49ers’ next game will be a 7 p.m. Friday match at Loyola Marymount University.
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