It was a great start to the season for the Long Beach State women’s basketball team, which defeated Westmont comfortably on Saturday afternoon in the Walter Pyramid, 70-59.
The Beach were tied with Westmont after the first quarter but dominated in the second to take a 14-point halftime lead and kept that lead in double digits throughout the second half despite being shorthanded with just eight players available due to injury.
“It’s great to be back on the floor to have the opportunity to do something we love to do especially in such a tough time in our world,” said LBSU head coach Jeff Cammon. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to be around these young ladies and watch them grow, and to come out with a victory. We got better today.”
Long Beach State was led by 21 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals from Justina King, who played almost all 40 minutes. They were also boosted by Naomi Hunt, an All-Big West player two seasons ago who missed all of last season with injury. Hunt had 14 points including four made 3-pointers, which boosted her career total to 114, ninth all-time in school history.
Cammon, King and Hunt all downplayed the oddity of a spectator-less Pyramid.
“We were just practicing outside a month ago,” said Cammon. “These young ladies are resilient, they keep pushing. We don’t talk about things we can’t control. We were prepared for it, we’ve been watching teams around the country which is an advantage of starting later than most teams.”
King credited the return of Hunt for her good game, saying she was able to get into more lanes to drive the ball with Hunt’s shooting ability stretching the defense out towards the perimeter.
Long Beach shot 27/58 from the field and 9/18 from 3-point range.
Long Beach State (1-0) will host San Diego on Thursday, then travel to USC on Dec. 22 to round out its nonconference schedule.