In hopes of breaking its five-game losing streak, Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball will travel to Long Beach State Thursday for the second meeting of the season against the 49ers. The Titans dropped their last contest against the 49ers 65-48 but said they are looking to take some positives away from that game and build on the performance.
“If we keep going strong to the basket and scoring points off of their mistakes and off their press, then they’re not going to want to press us anymore,” said sophomore guard Jade Vega.
Vega had an exceptional performance in the previous matchup and is looking to carry her momentum into Thursday night’s game by being aggressive from deep. Vega is leading the Titans in 3-point percentage this year at 32.6 percent and credits her team with her success.
“My teammates, they’re finding me in open positions and open spots, and they have enough confidence in me to knock it down,” Vega said.
Head Coach Daron Park praised his team’s effort in the last game but said he is hoping they can continue that energy throughout the entire contest.
“For us, it’s, ‘Can we sustain an effort for four quarters instead of three?’ So we’re just going to keep working hard at it,” Park said.
The Titans will have to limit their errors on the offensive end against the 49ers as they accumulated 20 turnovers in their last meeting. Park said the pace at which Long Beach plays can lead to carelessness with the basketball.
The 49ers implemented a full-court press for majority of the game, which gave the Titans a several problems.
Coach Park mentioned the defensive pressure that Long Beach State exhibited in the last matchup and the unique quality the 49ers possess.
“They love to pressure you from the moment you basically come into the gym,” Park said.
In addition to limiting turnovers, the Titans must do a better job rebounding on the defensive end of the floor. Long Beach was able to outrebound Fullerton 42-35 in the first contest, including a total 18 on the offensive glass.
“As the game got to Long Beach’s favor, one of the reasons was they were just relentless on the boards. They did a good job pounding the glass,” Park said. “We have to be better this time around.”
Although the Titans are 4-18 overall and last place in the Big West Conference at 1-8, Park believes in his coaching staff and team.
“We have a system. We have a style that we believe in. We have a way that we want to play that we feel gives us the best chance to win,” Park said.
The Titans will play Long Beach State Thursday at 7 p.m. before returning back to Titan Gym for a four-game home stand tipping off Saturday against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Harrison Faigen contributed to this report.