The Long Beach State women’s basketball team drowned against the third-ranked Oregon Ducks Saturday afternoon, losing 81-45 at the Walter Pyramid.
In a game dominated from start to finish by the Ducks (8-1), the crowd in the Pyramid was full of Oregon fans along with NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
After a rocky first five minutes of the game, the Beach (3-7) was able to hang around, navigating the Ducks full-court press, trailing 15-10.
Shortly thereafter, Oregon began to heat up.
“They shot the heck out of the ball tonight,” head coach Jeff Cammon said. “At times though I think we bothered them, so I was proud of the fight our team showed.”
The Ducks ended the first quarter on a 16-2 run. Overall, the Ducks shot 86.7% from the field and five for six from beyond the arc in the quarter
The Ducks continued to impose their will as the undermanned and undersized Beach couldn’t get any closer than 20 points for the remainder of the game.
Senior guard Sabrina Ionescu led the Ducks with 12 rebounds, only two less than the entire Long Beach team. She also finished with 21 points and seven assists to lead the team.
Despite the final score, Cammon still saw positives to be taken from the final result.
“We schedule these kind of games to see what the highest level of competition is like,” Cammon said. “Going against the best of the best will only make you better.”
Although the Beach had a hard time scoring the ball, shooting under 35% for the game, their defense was able to slow the Ducks down at times.
Long Beach State forced 22 turnovers, giving it a turnover differential of plus-seven. After the first quarter, Oregon shot a paltry four for 18 from three-point land due to the aggressive Long Beach defense.
“Our offense is coming along,” Cammon said. “We’re getting good looks and just missing them, but don’t worry, we’re gonna get there.”
Long Beach will be back in action Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they host Air Force at the Walter Pyramid.