The Long Beach State women’s basketball team continued its excellent start to the season on Friday evening with an easy win over Cal State Fullerton, 69-50.
The win improves the team to 6-1 on the season and 5-0 in Big West play, the team’s best start to a conference slate since the 2005-06 season.
Although the Beach is now alone in first place, head coach Jeff Cammon said he’s not looking too far ahead.
“It’s one game at a time,” he said. “We could be really good. It’s all about staying the course and trusting the process and being a winner every day. The sky is the limit for this team.”
The Beach surged to a double-digit lead in the game’s opening minutes and cruised the rest of the way, with the game never in doubt. With the Beach getting a few players back from injury to add to their depth, Cammon chose to start subbing in the second half to get his starters rest for the quick turnaround to Saturday’s rematch.
“Typically Justina (King) plays just about 40 minutes but we got her out,” said Cammon. “(With the back-to-backs) we have to be tactful and strategic in that first game.”
Ma’Qhi Berry led the team with a season-high 19 points, and said she was urged to be more aggressive by her teammates and coaches. She agreed with Cammon that the team could be looking at a special season.
“I think we’re good, but the crazy thing is I don’t think we’re even close to what we could actually be,” she said.
The Beach is still missing two starter-caliber players in Oklahoma transfer Kamryn Lemon and Imani Lacy.
The rest of the conference, meanwhile, is struggling to get games in. With preseason favorite UC Davis shut down indefinitely due to county health regulations in Northern California, the Beach have become the prohibitive favorites. At 5-0, they’re well clear of second-place UC Irvine, who are 2-1 after a loss to UC Riverside (who Long Beach went 2-0 against earlier this season).
King added 13 points for the Beach, while Kristyna Jeskeova chipped in a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The game also marked the return of Ashlee Lewis to her native Long Beach, as the Poly alum came off the bench to score five points for Fullerton.
The two teams will meet again in The Walter Pyramid at 4 p.m. on Saturday.