The Long Beach State women’s basketball team has had a relatively smooth road to the top of the Big West conference. The team started 6-0 in league play and outscored their opponents by 70 points in those wins. Friday night at UC San Diego the Beach found themselves trailing by two with less than a minute left when Jasmine Hardy hit a three to put them in the lead. They were able to hold off an upset-minded Tritons team, 54-50.
“Learning how to win and building a winning culture means that even on your worst days you find a way to make a play to come out on top,” said LBSU head coach Jeff Cammon after the game. “We had a 21 day layoff between games, we didn’t have Ma’Qhi (Berry, out with injury)–that doesn’t matter. Our non-negotiables are every night we give effort, we’re good teammates, we communicate, and we compete. And we didn’t live up to that standard tonight.”
Cammon’s squad had a hard time scoring early in the game and fell behind 10-0 and 22-12 in the second quarter. Missing shots made it harder for them to set up defensively, although they still forced 15 first-half turnovers by the Tritons. The Beach narrowed the UCSD lead to a point at halftime and led for much of the second half until falling behind by a score late to set up Hardy’s heroics.
Cammon said he was glad his team played good enough defense to stay in the game until the offense came around, but that he hopes his players learned a lesson about how teams will challenge them now that they’re in first place.
“We can’t be outworked, and while I’m glad we won, we have a target on our back,” he said. “We’re going to get everyone’s best shot.”
Hardy, Justina King, and freshman Patricia Chung led the way with 15 points apiece. The Beach (8-1, 7-0) are back in action at UCSD Saturday at 5 p.m.
Men’s Game Canceled
The Long Beach State men’s game against UCSD on Friday was canceled due to a player testing positive for COVID-19 on the Beach team. Saturday’s game is also canceled, as is next weekend’s road trip to UC Santa Barbara as the team enters a two-week pause.