With 10.7 seconds left in the game, the 49ers kept pushing the tempo with Shanaijah Davison handling the ball. The sophomore guard was unable to get a shot attempt as Cal Baptist forced a jump-ball on the baseline drive attempt, giving the Lancers the ball back.
With time still remaining, the 49ers inexplicably passed on attempting to foul, which would have stopped the clock and put pressure on the Lancers to hit crunch-time free throws.
Long Beach (0-1) dropped the match 85-83.
Frustrations bubbled to the surface early the Long Beach State women’s basketball team battled the Lancers in their opening game of the season.
“I think it’s a lack of urgency. It’s tough when you have a young group, a lot of times they don’t understand until they get burned,” head coach Jeff Cammon said.
Looking to build on their 8-23 record last season, the 49ers were led by Davison, who was awarded preseason all-Big West honors and scored a career-high 34 points on 51 percent shooting.
The 49ers started the game off well with a 14-4 run led by Davison nine points and a big three pointer to get the crowd into it.
Both teams traded body blows with runs of their own in the second quarter. By halftime the score was 48-47, and neither team had a clear advantage.
Coming out of halftime, the 49ers struggled to get back in rhythm as the team played sloppy as a whole and Davison struggled to get the ball through the net.
Realizing the size advantage of 6-foot-1 center Britney Thomas, the Lancers kept feeding her in the post, ending the third quarter with a double-double already as the score was 66-56 with the Lancers holding the lead.
“We just got to get tougher. You can’t be afraid to be physical,” Cammon said. “ I don’t know if we were afraid to be as physical as we want to be but you know that’s no excuse.”
With a big shot behind the arc by Davison followed by a steal and easy layup, the 49ers were back in it come the fourth quarter. Following a 10-0 run to open the period, the game was all tied up again at 66.
Davison soon forgot the shooting woes that plagued her in the third quarter, lighting up the Lancers for 12 more points in the fourth quarter alone to go with a circus shot layup that had the crowd in awe as the game was tied up once again with 1:59 remaining.
“[Martina’s] emotion, her energy in the huddle, her play on the floor, she energized us and our kids started to understand,” Cammon said. “Martina did a good job energizing our kids and I feel like I was giving them the same message throughout the game and sometimes it takes peer leadership for it to kick in.”
Her efforts weren’t enough as the Lancers closed out the game.
“I didn’t do a good enough job to prepare them for this game tonight. I take this loss for them. Obviously we have a lot of work to do,” Cammon said.
Long Beach will look to protect home court again 2 p.m. Sunday against USC.