After a historic 10-0 start to conference play, it’s been five games of bad news for the Long Beach State women’s basketball team, who’s losing streak now takes up a whole hands worth of counting after a heartbreaking L against Hawaii at home Friday night, 77-75.
“All the things that lose you games, that’s what we’re doing,” said LBSU coach Jeff Cammon. “Ultimately it falls on me. I have to make sure that our young ladies are doing those little things that help you win. And we can, and we will.”
Having lost four straight games to UC Davis and Cal Poly, the Beach were looking to get right back home in the Walter Pyramid. But they fought back from a few points down for most of the game, sending Hawaii to the free throw line 26 times while being outrebounded by 10.
Still, the Beach had a shot when a Naomi Hunt 3-pointer tied the game at 75 with 90 seconds left. But Amy Atwell hit a pull-up jumper to give Hawaii a two-point lead on the next possession. Atwell missed a free throw to keep the door open for the Beach. After a missed layup by Kianna Hamilton-Fisher, Hawaii was unable to get a shot off before the shot clock expired on the other end. Ma’Qhi Berry grabbed an airballed rebound and was leading the fast break with an advantage in numbers when the officials blew the whistle to review whether or not the shot clock had gone off.
Asked if he thought the break should have been allowed to continue, Cammon didn’t want to assign responsibility to that decision.
“I think it should’ve (been allowed to continue) but it wasn’t, that’s basketball,” he said. “It’s nothing we can do about it–we shouldn’t have been in a position where that call would have impacted us. That’s what happens when you don’t take care of business.”
After the restart, the Beach ran a play for Justina King in the post. She popped free and got to the restricted zone, but couldn’t get the shot to fall. Hawaii then missed two free throws on the other end, but another King effort came up short for the Beach.
“We were just trying to get the ball to Justina, she had good looks and they just didn’t go down,” said Cammon.
Atwell led Hawaii with 25 points, while the Beach were led by 18 points each from Hunt and King, and 16 from Berry.
Long Beach State (11-6, 10-5) will face Hawaii again in the Pyramid Saturday at 4 p.m.