In a game that featured a dozen ties and 20 lead changes, the Long Beach State women’s basketball team (11-6) fell short to Hawai’i (6-6) in a hard fought 77-75 in the Walter Pyramid Friday evening. The heart-wrenching loss marks the fifth straight loss for the Beach.
Hawai’i junior forward, Amy Atwell made the go-ahead jumper with 1:07 left in the game that would prove to be the deciding points. Atwell led all scorers with 25 points.
Long Beach junior guard Justina King just missed the game-tying floater off the back of the rim as time ran out.
King led the Beach in scoring with 18 points while adding six assists. Junior forward Naomi Hunt also scored 18 points including four three-pointers, while junior guard Ma’Qhi Berry added 16 points, alongside six rebounds and seven assists.
The game was close throughout with no team leading by more than seven points. Long Beach held a one-point lead after the first quarter, but Hawai’i pulled ahead, scoring nine unanswered points and five consecutive field goals in the last two minutes of the first half. The Beach was down 34- 29 at halftime.
Long Beach cut the lead down to one point in the beginning of the second half, and the teams traded baskets throughout the third quarter.
The two teams had almost identical shooting percentage from beyond the arc, as Hawai’i converted seven out of 21 attempts (33%), while Long Beach completed eight out of 21 attempts (38%).
As the game approached its final moments, the teams were tied at 75 with 1:36 left after a Hunt three-pointer. Hawai’i answered with points of their own, putting themselves up by two, then followed with a couple defensive stops that would secure the game.
Long Beach now sits as the third seed in the Big West Conference with a record of 10-5.
The teams will face off in a rematch Saturday in the Walter Pyramid. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.