Going into this year’s Big West Women’s Basketball Tournament, Long Beach State already knew they’d gotten an unfavorable draw. As the No. 3 seed in the bracket, the Beach were opening up the tournament against the two-time defending conference champions, No. 6 seed UC Davis. The Aggies have been a tough nemesis for LBSU lately, winning six of their eight meetings over the past four years.
Unfortunately for Long Beach State, Davis again had the upper hand in a 55-45 victory on Wednesday night at the Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, Nev. The loss ends LBSU’s season in the Big West quarterfinals while the Aggies move on to Friday’s semifinal round.
Long Beach State played well enough defensively to win the game, but again struggled to score the ball. In a tale that’s all too familiar for Beach fans, LBSU struggled shooting the ball from long range. Long Beach shot just 3/19 (15.8%) from three-point range while the Aggies were a more efficient 7/20 (35%) from deep.
UC Davis also held a big edge at the free throw line, going 14/18 at the stripe while the Beach made just 8/16.
LBSU did win the turnover battle–forcing 22 Aggies turnovers while only committing 12 of their own–but couldn’t convert enough of those turnovers into points. The Beach managed just 8 points off turnovers while UC Davis scored 11.
Maddi Utti was again the leading scorer for the Beach with 14 while Justina King added a dozen.
UC Davis got out to a good start after the opening quarter, leading 15-8 after the first 10 minutes. The teams were even in the second and third quarters, with Long Beach briefly pulling to within three points late in the third quarter. However, the Aggies closed out the third with four straight points and never let Long Beach State get closer than five for the entire fourth quarter.