The Lady Seasiders opened their season with a 70-53 loss, falling to the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros in the on Nov. 16, Wednesday.
According to the Athletics Department box score, 258 people filled the CAC to watch the game.
“It was our first game and it showed,” said Head Coach Craig Stanger. “We have a lot of things we need to work on. It was their fifth game and they did well, but they did some things we were expecting but just weren’t able to contain it,” she said.
Center Kristin Baldwin led the Seasiders in scoring and rebounding with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Guards Marian and Safia Sheikh helped with the scoring load, earning a combined 27 points. The Seasiders were their own worst enemy at times, recording 32 turnovers with only 14 of those being forced by the Toros.
The visiting Toros leaned on Freshman Guard Kayla Gillett as well as Senior Guard Imari Brown for scoring in their first victory of the season. The Toros as a team had the hot hand the whole game, shooting 47 percent on their three-point shots and 40 percent on their regular field goals.
Both teams struggled in the beginning, each trading turnovers for most of the first quarter. The Seasiders had their only lead of the game when Safia Sheikh hit a three-point shot to put the Seasiders up 5-3. The lead was short lived and the Lady Seasiders would be left playing catchup the rest of the game.
The Seasider offense’s lack of chemistry played a role in the team’s inability to control the ball or score. One spectator said, “Offensively we were very, very raw. What we’re trying to take away from this is realizing we have to work more together so things will start clicking.”
Despite their lack of offensive chemistry, the Seasiders entered halftime looking at only an eight-point deficit, primarily due to their rebounding and second chance points. The Seasiders outrebounded the Toros 46-36 with 18 of the Seasider’s rebounds coming on the offensive glass. One spectator commented, “I thought we did do a good job of rebounding, otherwise the score would have been a whole lot worse.”
The second half was much closer as the Seasiders seemed to begin working better together as a team. Baldwin, a junior from Arizona majoring in exercise science, commented, “I thought we did a good job calming down after the first half. We came back in the third quarter ready to fight. We just need to be able to sustain those levels of energy and focus.”
The Toros hot shooting eventually buried the Seasiders’ zone defense, building the lead until the final buzzer sounded. Although the Seasiders struggled, the fans who attended were encouraged by the positive attitude of the players.
Jana McQueen, a junior from New Zealand majoring in psychology, said, “The teamwork was fantastic. They helped each other out and they were good sports. I loved watching my friends Safia and Marian play as well.”
Although it was a tough loss, Stanger feels like the lessons learned from the game will help his team going forward.
Stanger concluded, “We just need to get better at getting Kristin the ball. Seeing the floor better. Understanding when to take good shots and when to pass them up and we are still a work and progress with making the offense more efficient.”