Sports, Women's Basketball, Women's Sports

Long Beach State looks to sweep the season series against Cal Poly

Long Beach State’s women’s basketball team will look to get back in the win column on Saturday as it travels to Cal Poly in its second matchup of the season.

The last time the two schools faced off, the Beach (10-11, 5-3 Big West) edged out the Mustangs (5-14, 2-6 Big West) 72-69. Redshirt sophomore guard Ma’Qhi Berry scored a career-high 24 points leading the Beach to victory.

Long Beach has won four of its last five games and is looking to keep pace in the conference standings, it’s currently in third place.

If the Beach wants to get back to their winning ways, they need to win the battle of the boards. Securing rebounds have been an issue in their last two games. Against UC Riverside and Hawai’i, they gave up an average of 53 rebounds, while only averaging 27.5 rebounds themselves.

Standing in their way on Saturday is Cal Poly redshirt junior forward Sierra Campisano who averages 8.7 rebounds per game. Campisano has recorded a double-double in seven games this season and owns a season-high of 16. The Beach will have to find a way to limit her production on the glass.

Long Beach State’s fifth-ranked defense in the Big West Conference will have the tough task of stopping Cal Poly’s second-ranked offense. Campisano is second in the conference in scoring, averaging 16.4 points per game, while teammate freshman point guard Abbey Ellis is averaging 15.2 points per game, fourth in the Big West.

Long Beach senior forward Cydnee Kinslow will likely defend Campisano, using her length to disrupt passing lanes and bottle up isolation opportunities. Kinslow averages 5.9 rebounds per game which ranks 12th in the Big West. Also, look for forwards Aaryon Green and Lauren Green to battle in the paint with plenty of energy.

The Beach will rely on their top scorers, junior guard Shanaijah Davison and sophomore guard Justina King to lead the offense against Cal Poly.

Davison leads Long Beach State in scoring this season, averaging 14.1 points per game, while King is averaging 12.9 points per game. Cal Poly gives up an average of 62.9 points per game on 38% shooting while the Beach scores 60.4 points per game while shooting 37.7%.

A win over the ‘Stangs would keep the Beach in contention for the top spot in the conference, as they are currently two games behind UC Davis.

Cal Poly is coming off a loss against Hawai’i (12-10, 6-3 Big West) and is 2-6 in its last eight games.

After Cal Poly, the Beach’s next few games come against opponents who sit at the bottom of the Big West standings. Pulling off a string wins will be crucial for the Beach as they head into the latter stretch of conference play.

Long Beach State will play Cal Poly Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Mott Athletics Center.

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