Long Beach State women’s basketball team could not recover from an early deficit and lost to UC Davis 68-58 on Saturday afternoon at the Walter Pyramid.
This marks the first loss at home for The Beach all season, snapping a seven game winning streak. Saturday’s loss puts The Beach’s conference record at 6-2 and places them in a three-way tie for first place in the Big West with UC Irvine and UC San Diego.
“We were playing hard, but we weren’t as in tune to competing at a high level,” head coach Jeff Cammon said. “We weren’t as prepared to compete from the jump.”
From tip-off, UC Davis was breaking through LBSU’s usually strong defense. The Beach came into the week second in the country with a 9.14 turnover margin and fifth in the nation with 13.6 steals per game. However, by the end of the first half Long Beach State was down 35-17.
“We knew that wasn’t us in the first half,” guard Justina King said about the team’s meeting during halftime. “We have to be who we are and compete, and we weren’t doing that. We talked about that, so we came out differently.”
The Beach started the second half on a tear. Forward Maddi Utti and King helped Long Beach get back in the game and cut the deficit to 42-34.
However, UC Davis, the reigning conference champions, responded by closing out the third quarter on an 11-0 run, putting the score at 53-34.
“UC Davis is a championship-level team,” Cammon said. “You make a mistake, they make you pay for it.”
King, Utti, and Guard Jasmine Hardy continued to find their offensive groove in the fourth quarter. King put up 13 points in the final quarter, giving her a career-high 21 points in the game.
The Beach managed to cut the lead to five points at 55-50 with 4:15 remaining, but the Aggies were able to go on a run of their own to put the game away 68-58.
Cammon doesn’t believe Saturday’s loss is an indicator of the team’s overall performance, and that they will bounce back.
“It wasn’t our night to a certain extent, but we try not to use excuses,” Cammon said.
The Beach will be playing on the road for the next three games. LBSU will play CSU Bakersfield on Feb. 3, Cal Poly SLO on Feb. 5, and Cal State Fullerton on Feb 8.