Even with suffocating defense, the Long Beach State women’s basketball team, 10-3, lost 55-44 against Cal Poly (6-5) because of game-long scoring droughts Friday afternoon.
The Beach stood strong for a majority of the game, managing to keep the number one and two leading scorers in the Big West Conference, Abbey Ellis and Sierra Campisano, to only two and 12 points respectively. But a defensive lapse in the middle of the fourth quarter put the Mustangs ahead by as many as 14 points. Long Beach State managed to cut that lead by five, but couldn’t finish the comeback due to inconsistent scoring.
Offensive struggles from the Beach carried over from the two games played against UC Davis where they shot for 29% and 30% from the field. Against the Mustangs they shot 26% from the field, 8% from three-point range, and 53% from the foul line. From three they made two of the 23 attempts and didn’t score the first until the third quarter.
It’s evident that junior guard Justina King leads the charge on offense as the leading scorer on the team with an average of 13 points per game. She also led the team this game with 17 points on 6-21 shooting. That’s eight more shots than junior forward Naomi Hunt, who had the second most shot attempts, and 17 more shots than the brightest spark for the Beach, sophomore guard Kristyna Jeskeova.
Jeskeova kept the Beach close throughout the game with her defensive and offensive rebounding, playing an efficient game and kept her guard up on the defensive side. Her hands were always in the air and she always nudged herself into loose balls. She filled the box score with seven points, 11 rebounds, two assists, three steals and two blocks.
But the Mustangs always found a way to take advantage of the Beach’s missed shots. Although the Beach were pesky and gritty on defense, the Mustangs passed the ball around until they crept into the Beach’s zone defense.
Although Campisano and Ellis weren’t their usual offensive self, the rest of the team managed to shoot well. Cal Poly shot 20% higher than Long Beach State at 46%. They also shot 21 less three pointers but made one more than the Beach.
The results slightly shake up the Big West standings putting Long Beach State in third place behind UC Davis and UC Irvine. Cal Poly remains at fifth place but they’re only half a game behind CSU Bakersfield.
With five games left in the regular season, the Beach has one more game against Cal Poly, two games against a sub-.500 Hawaii and two against UC Irvine. The matches against the Anteaters can move the top three spots in the Big West around, they’ll look to turn their offensive woes in the coming weeks in order to finish on top of the standings.
The Beach looks for revenge against the Mustangs tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Mott Athletics Center in San Luis Obispo.