“Choppy” was the word head coach Jeff Cammon used to describe the women’s basketball team’s 73-59 loss to UC Riverside Thursday night.
The sound of whistles filled the Walter Pyramid throughout the game as Long Beach ended with 21 fouls and Riverside with 20, including a technical foul on the 49ers’ lead guard sophomore Shanaijah Davison, as frustrations started to surface.
“We weren’t in rhythm or a flow,” Cammon said. ”There [were] a lot of fouls called on both ends and it just really slowed the game down.”
This style of play tilted the game in favor of the Highlanders, but ultimately shouldn’t have resulted in a loss, Cammon added.
The game started off well for Long Beach, as Davison put on a show with a devastating behind the back crossover to send her defender flying, while also utilizing her patented spin move to slice through the Highlander’s defense.
Full court defense by the 49ers put the Highlanders in a funk early on, led by sophomore reserve guard Bria Rice, who stuffed the stat sheet with five steals, four points, three assists and one rebound to go along with her relentless on-ball pressure.
“In the past games, I have kind of been really timid and you know, not really trusting in my game, so this time [I] was just chilling out and making sure that I believe in myself and stay confident,” Rice said. “And I know my coaches are really confident in me, so knowing that, it just really helped me get the flow of my game.”
Even with Rice injecting some much needed energy off the bench, the task was too big for the 49ers in the second half, only connecting on 5-of-32 shots to end the game.
“We missed some easy shots and you know, didn’t take advantage of some opportunities, but a game like that, you got to be able to defend,” Cammon said. “When you have 14 more attempts than them, we got 21 offensive rebounds and we turned them over 22 times, you know, you got to find a way to win that game.”
Long Beach will defend home court again 4 p.m. Saturday against Cal State Northridge.