College Corner: Oregon women coming to town

Batten down the hatches.

The Oregon women’s basketball team, ranked No. 1 in the nation to begin the season, and No. 3 right now, is coming to the Walter Pyramid, Saturday, Dec. 14, to take on the Long Beach State women’s team at 1 p.m.

The Ducks feature one of the best players in NCAA history in Sabrina Ionescu, and have not been shy about running it up against mid-majors this year. They beat one school by 57, another by 36. Their last game was a 95-56 win over South Dakota State.

“They’re the real deal, we’re excited to welcome a team of that caliber to Long Beach,” said LBSU coach Jeff Cammon when asked about the game before the season. Jeff, being a savvy professional, managed to avoid pulling his collar after he said it.

The truth is, it will take Long Beach State’s best game of the season to keep this one within 30 points. The Ducks are so talented and deep they actually defeated the United States National Women’s Team prior to the season.

Long Beach State, meanwhile, is 3-6 and shooting 37.9% on the year. Sophomore Justina King and junior Shanaijah Davison, the team’s two best players, will need to have monster games for the Beach to hang in this one.

Believe it or not, Oregon used to tremble at the name “Long Beach State,” rather than the other way around. When Joan Bonvicini was coaching the Beach and the team was regularly making deep NCAA runs, LBSU opened the two schools’ all-time series with five wins over the Ducks from 1980 to 1986. The Ducks have won seven in a row in the series since then.

Long Beach State Men Struggling

We mentioned that last weekend’s game against Pacific would be a good mid-major test to see where the Long Beach State men’s basketball team stands. The test… didn’t go well. It was like one of those tests you get back where you find out you not only failed, but your teacher points out you misspelled your last name at the top, too.

Long Beach lost 65-46, managing just 22 points in the first half and just 24 in the second. The team dropped to 3-7 overall with the loss, which saw the Beach perform so listlessly that we got our first round of Long Beach State fans demanding head coach Dan Monson be fired on message boards, afterward.

The road doesn’t get immediately easier for Long Beach, as they travel to USC on Sunday for a 3:30 p.m. contest. They return to the Pyramid to host Southern Utah Thursday, at 7 p.m.

LBCC Football Honors

How do you know a team had a good season? When almost 80% of your starting lineup earns all-conference honors. The Vikings won last year’s National Division conference championship and were so dominant that 17 players earned all-conference recognition.

D’Anthony Jones was Defensive Player of the Year and is likely to receive major state recognition as well in the coming weeks. Zion Bowens was Special Teams Player of the Year for his excellent return skills.

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Mike and JJ go together like mac and cheese: they’re best friends, business partners and Long Beach sports experts. They’ve been working together for over a decade covering Long Beach local sports and now run the562.org, a community-funded nonprofit media outlet.
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