By Jarrod Castillo, Athletics Editor
With Long Beach State (0-1) down two, 85-83, against the Cal Baptist Lancers (1-1) with less than 15 seconds left in the game, sophomore guard Shanaijah Davison drove baseline with an opportunity to tie the game.
Considering that she was seemingly making every shot she took, it seemed like a great idea to give the ball to your go-to scorer to force the game into overtime.
Instead, she faced a myriad of Cal Baptist hands and ultimately had her shot blocked, sealing the game, as the Beach didn’t foul the Lancers as time expired.
“Tough game tonight,” head coach Jeff Cammon said. “We have to do a better job in a lot of categories but this loss is my loss tonight.”
Although the game was close in the end, the Beach had ample opportunities to put away Cal Baptist in the first half. Long Beach State came out aggressive in the first quarter on both ends of the floor, forcing six Lancer turnovers and getting four steals.
Davison was especially active, as she had 15 points in the first quarter on 6-11, shooting 3-4 from 3-point range.
In the second quarter, Long Beach State had a 14-point lead, 44-30, with less than five minutes remaining in the half. However, they let Cal Baptist go on a 15-2 run to close the gap and trailed 48-47 going into the break.
The Beach fell apart in the third quarter as they were only able to muster eight points. Additionally, they shot 15 percent (3-19) from the floor, including nine percent from 3-point land (1-11), and had six turnovers while having only seven in the first half.
“I think it’s a lack of urgency,” Cammon said concerning his team’s rough third quarter. “We have to understand that we have to be focused and engaged at all times and we can’t let up at any point.”
Down 10 to start the fourth quarter, Davison took it upon herself to carry the team to victory. After being held to three points in the third, Davison came out swinging, scoring 12 of her game-leading 34 points on 51 percent (14-27), shooting from the field with six 3-pointers.
“I honestly just trusted my teammates, trusting my game, letting the ball fly,” Davison said. “With me being a sophomore, I’m really taking the season serious.”
As the Beach climbed their way back into the game, sophomore forward Naomi Hunt missed a 3-pointer that would’ve given the Beach the lead late in the game. With Hunt missing and Davison getting blocked, time ran out for Long Beach State as they dropped their home opener, 85-83, to Cal Baptist.
The Lancers had six players scoring in double-figures led by sophomore guard Ane Olaeta’s 16 points.
Despite losing, Davison had an all-around game as she added six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Hunt and freshman forward Jasmine Hardy scored in double-figures for the Beach as well, with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
The Beach face Nevada on Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.