Basketball Long Beach State

UC Davis Hands Long Beach State First Home Loss of the Year

Despite a spirited comeback, the Beach struggled with their shot and couldn’t get timely stops defensively, causing them to fall short against UC Davis 68-58. This loss marked the first home loss of the year for the Beach and just their second loss in Big West play. 

“We have to be focused and ready to compete on a night to night basis, and tonight we didn’t have the same energy or enthusiasm,” said Beach coach Jeff Cammon after the game. “Davis is a championship team, and they will make you pay.”  

Justina King led the Beach with a season high 21 points, while Maddi Utti added 18 points and 9 rebounds in the losing effort. 

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The Beach struggled offensively particularly in the first half, as they shot just 24% from the field and couldn’t get any kind of rhythm going. On the other hand, UC Davis shot 50% from the field and were much more energized from the get-go, as they also outrebounded the Beach 24-11. As a result, UC Davis took a 35-17 lead into halftime.

“It’s more than just simply missing shots, it’s how you approach the game,” said Cammon when asked about struggles in the first half. “Today, we weren’t as prepared to compete from the jump, we gotta have better focus and attitude to start games competing hard and not getting complacent.”

However, in the second half the Beach came out much more energized on both sides of the ball. The Beach started using more full court press and were far more aggressive on ball defensively, as they forced 12 turnovers in the second half. The Beach were able to cut the lead to just 8 (42-34) midway through the 3rd quarter.  

“We knew that wasn’t us in the first half, that wasn’t who we are,” said Justina King. “We knew we had to come out and play better in the second half, and we did. 

However, UC Davis promptly responded with a 11-0 run to end the third quarter and held a 53-34 lead.

“Give credit to Davis, they’re a really good team,” said Cammon. “I don’t care what their record says, they’re a good team and are not gonna back down.”

The Beach embarked on another comeback in the 4th quarter and were able to cut the lead to 61-56 with 2:09 left to play. However, from that point on the Beach struggled to get timely stops defensively, as UC Davis went to the foul line 5 times afterwards and used free throws to put the game away.

Despite the loss, Cammon still has plenty of confidence in his team.

“We’ve been through the battles, we’ve been through the wars. We know how good we are, and we know how good we can be.” he said. “So now we gotta come out and play at a championship level, and we didn’t tonight. 

The Beach will look to bounce back on Thursday when they travel to face Cal State Bakersfield.

 

Sai Trivedi
Born and raised in Long Beach, Sai Trivedi is a sophomore at LB Poly High School. His love of sports started when he was seven watching games with his Dad. Sai has dabbled in podcasting and writing about sports and enjoys playing guitar and tennis.