It was a forgettable weekend on the hardwood for Long Beach State’s basketball teams, as the Beach went a combined 0-4 against Hawai’i. Every loss was a one-possession game, but LBSU ended up on the wrong end of the scoreline, losing by a combined 10 points in the four contests.
After a 10-0 start to Big West play, the Beach are reeling at the moment. Long Beach State has now lost six straight contests, dropping to 11-7 overall and 10-6 in conference action.
Coming off a dismal shooting performance in their last series at Cal Poly, the Beach did a better job of generating offense against Hawai’i, scoring a season-high 75 points in Friday’s opener. Unfortunately, the defense allowed a season-high in scoring to an opponent as Hawai’i pulled out a 77-75 victory. Long Beach State’s big three all had great performances in the loss; Ma’Qhi Berry posted 16 points, seven assists and four steals, Justina King had 18 points, six assists and four takeaways, while Naomi Hunt added 18 points and six assists.
LBSU appeared headed for a win on Saturday with a 60-52 lead after three quarters, but the offense went cold for the rest of the night. The Beach were outscored 17-9 in the fourth quarter, sending the game to overtime. In the extra period, LBSU was just 2-for-10 from the field as Hawai’i pulled out a 76-73 win to complete the sweep. Jasmine Hardy led the way for Long Beach with a career-high 24 points (8-12 FGs) and nine boards.
“All the things that lose you games, that’s what we’re doing,” said LBSU coach Jeff Cammon after Friday’s loss. “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.”
After leading the Big West less than a month ago, Cammon’s squad now sits in third place, with the chance to finish anywhere between second and fifth place after the final weekend of the regular season. LBSU will play two games at UC Irvine (12-7, 10-3 Big West) this weekend, looking to get back on track before heading to Vegas for the Big West Tournament.
The road has been unkind to the Beach this season; Dan Monson’s squad is just 1-8 away from Walter Pyramid and have now lost six straight away from home. In both games, LBSU (5-9, 4-6 Big West) led by eight or more points at halftime but couldn’t hold on down the stretch.
Chance Hunter led the way on Friday with 23 points and nine rebounds, but Hawai’i shot 63 percent from the field after halftime to storm back for a 78-76 victory. Michael Carter III carried the scoring load in Saturday’s game, dropping a team-high 20 points, but a 43-32 rebounding advantage proved to be the difference for the Warriors as the hosts pulled out a 79-76 win.
LBSU will face a tough test in their final tuneup before the Big West Tournament, hosting local rivals UC Irvine (14-8, 8-4 Big West) for a pair of 4 p.m. games on Friday and Saturday.
Long Beach State’s attempts to compete against UCLA have been unsuccessful across all sports this year, with the beach volleyball team the latest squad to cancel their contest against the Bruins last Thursday due to COVID-19 protocols. Even though the season opener was delayed, the Beach successfully took the sand for a pair of matches against Stanford on Friday, splitting the pair against the Cardinal.
No. 16 Long Beach State won the first meeting with No. 19 Stanford, 3-2, but fell short in the rematch by a 4-1 margin. The pair of Skyler Germann and Alice Pratesi won both of their matches for the Beach, playing at the No. 4 spot in the lineup.
LBSU will be back in action on Thursday, hosting a tri-dual against Vanguard and No. 8 LMU.
The program announced a pause in team activities last Friday, which delayed the start of LBSU’s 2021 season. The Beach was scheduled for a tournament in Fresno, but the new season-opener was changed to this Wednesday at San Diego, after print deadline. LBSU’s home opener is scheduled for Saturday at Noon against UCLA. Visit The562.org for coverage of those games.
The student-athletes in the LBSU women’s tennis program decided to opt out of the 2021 season. The defending Big West champions are the first program at the Beach to collectively opt out of competition during the pandemic.
“Following three weeks of dialogue and ten days of training, the 2021 Beach Tennis team has chosen to opt out from playing this season due to the impact of the pandemic,” said Beach head coach Jenny Hilt-Costello in a statement. “I fully support their well-thought out decision. We will be ready to defend our Big West championship beginning next fall during a full 2021-22 season.”