The SF State women’s basketball team came out with a heightened sense of urgency during their only televised game of the year, but lost to the Humboldt State Lumberjacks, 61-57.
There were 1,000 fans in attendance, rabidly cheering the Gators on throughout the game. Among the notable attendees was President Les Wong. The crowd was a huge boost for the Gators, according to head coach Dennis Cox, but he said he was disappointed with the loss.
“We had the crowd behind us the entire game,” Cox said. “(Humboldt State) stole a game away from us that should have been ours.”
Coming into the night, the Gators were ranked at the bottom of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, with a conference record of 3-10.
The outcome of the game, televised by Comcast, was crucial for the Gators conference standing, but a sloppy final two minutes of the fourth quarter was the Gators undoing.
With 1:13 left to play in the fourth quarter, the Gators led 57-54. Brittaney Allison was fouled on a lay-up, but missed her two free throws. On the ensuing possession, the Lumberjacks hit a 3 to tie the game.
Once the game was tied at 57, the Gators turned the ball over with 44 seconds remaining. On the next Lumberjacks possession, Neika Puryear hit a running lay-up to give Humboldt State a 59-57 lead. They held on to the lead to close out the game.
“It’s a game that is very disappointing, because we were up with 1:30 left to play,” Cox said. “That is a game you should win, but we only shot 8-20 from the free throw line.”
Despite the loss, both Laura Lawson and Tatsiana Dashkevich had career highs in scoring. Lawson shot 8-for-12 from the field, and scored 17 points. She also had 11 rebounds, five of which were offensive boards.
“Playing well gives me confidence moving forward, and hopefully helps us as a team,” Lawson said. “If one of us can get rolling, it can maybe bounce from one person to the next.”
Lawson’s teammate, Dashkevich, scored a game-high 19 points, and had six rebounds. Dashkevich said her individual performance meant very little because of the loss.
“My performance doesn’t matter, because as a team we didn’t do what we were supposed to,” Dashkevich said. “The adrenaline was running in the game, and I was hitting shots, but it’s frustrating.”
Cox said that the Gators allowed too many 3-point buckets, which was a big factor in the defeat. Humboldt State shot 7-for-11 on 3-pointers.
The Gators may be without starting point guard Lauryn for their game tomorrow night against Cal Poly Pomona.
With 6:25 left to go in the third period, Catching trailed a Lumberjack player who was driving to the basket, and she swatted the ball viciously from behind. She dove for a loose ball 10 seconds later, and came up limping. Cox said she is questionable for tomorrow’s game with a knee injury.
The Gators are tied with Sonoma State for worst conference record, at 3-11. Cox called the game tomorrow night against Cal Poly Pomona a “must win” to keep SF State’s playoff chances alive.