The Long Beach State women’s basketball team put the Big West on notice to end its regular season with a 66-57 win over top-seeded UC Davis at the Walter Pyramid Saturday.
The Beach (13-16, 8-8 Big West) attacked the Aggies (17-12, 12-4 Big West) all night long with a balanced scoring attack as four players scored in double digits.
“When we move well without the ball and we share the ball, it creates opportunities for everyone,” head coach Jeff Cammon said. “[Justina King] did a great job of being aggressive, but being aggressive to make the right basketball play.”
King’s aggressiveness would show in the form of a game-high 19 points, with 11 coming down the stretch to pull away from UC Davis.
“Justina is very cerebral, analytical,” Cammon said. “She just sometimes over analyzes but at halftime … she’s a perfectionist, she’s always trying to figure out how she can get better and she felt like she wasn’t aggressive and I told her I felt like she was aggressive.
Long Beach began the game on an 8-0 run, stunning Davis with a 2-3 zone and then pushing rebounds up the floor with intensity.
The Aggies countered back in the second quarter, ultimately tying the game at 27 behind newfound energy.
Junior guard Shanaijah Davison wasn’t about to let the Aggies creep back in the lead as she kept the Beach afloat, blowing past flat-footed defenders to the rim with ease.
“I bring [Davison] off the bench, she’s good, she’s not selfish. I start her, this a young lady that I don’t know if could have said that her freshman year,” Cammon said. “For her to buy into that concept is extraordinary. … I couldn’t be more proud of her, her energy is great.”
Davison finished the game with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes off the bench.
“They deserve this,” Cammon said. “To come out and beat the number one team in the conference really feels good. They always give their heart, but the execution tonight defensively, they were incredible. I’m so happy … this team’s heading in the right direction.”
With a score of 40-39 and Long Beach heading into the fourth quarter hot off of a Davison and-1, King would go on to collect more than half her points for the game as the Aggies slowly shut down.
Last season the Beach finished 5-11 in Big West play, and have earned a neutral conference record for the first time under Cammon at 8-8.
“As much I say its a process, it’s hard to buy into that in the moment,” Cammon said, “but it’s learning. We still have a young team and we’re playing without one of the best players in the conference, Naomi Hunt, and Kianna [Hamilton-Fisher] … and we’re still able to go 8-8 in our third year and I think it’s just growth.”
Long Beach State will look ahead to the Big West Tournament beginning Tuesday, March 10 at the Walter Pyramid.