CSUF women’s basketball came up short against Long Beach State 59-53, nearly erasing a 22-point deficit but was dealt their third consecutive loss.
The Titans slow start proved to be the deciding factor as the team missed its first 17 shot attempts from the field to start the game.
Sophomore forward Carolyn Gill credited their poor shooting to settling for jump shots instead of taking the ball to the rim.
“I think honestly we could have gotten to the rim a lot more and either gotten fouled and got to the free throw line, and then used those free throws to get our shots right,” Gill said.
The 49ers were able to jump out to a 16-2 lead by the end of the first quarter, as CSUF’s only points came from the free throw line.
The first field goal for the Titans, came on a 3-pointer by Hannah Thompson with 6:19 left in the second quarter. This triggered the Titans’ offensive production, as they added another nine by the end of the quarter to total 15 points.
Heading into the locker room at the half, the Titans trailed by 19 with a score of 34-15.
Head coach Jeff Harada was able to motivate his team as their second half proved much better than the first.
“It was time to just play with some pride and do the little things to chip away,” Harada said. “we were embarrassing ourselves out there.”
The team took coach Harada’s words to heart as they outscored the Beach in each of the final two quarters. Including a 10 point margin in the fourth as the Titans scored 21 points as opposed to the 49ers’ 11.
This final push in the fourth quarter brought the Titans within three points with eight seconds left to play after Thompson found center Daeja Smith for a layup.
Smith recorded her seventh double-double of the season scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Gill served as another top performer as she was just one rebound shy of a double-double with 13 points and nine boards.
Although the Titans fell short, this game provided them with valuable lessons. Gill was proud of her team, as they exhibited heart in the final half.
“Tonight we showed how good of a team we actually are regardless of the score, we battled, and I’m proud of my team for that,” Gill said.
Despite being upset about the first two and a half quarters, coach Harada was pleased with how the team finished the game and believe this will help them moving forward.
“We erased a 20-plus point lead and gave ourselves a chance with under a minute left. I think that shows some grit, some toughness, just some desire,” Harada said. “Hopefully the lesson learned is we start the game the way we finished it and we will be much better off the next time we play them.”