Golden Eagles Unable to Break Losing Streak

Anthony Quach, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Cal State LA Women’s Basketball team traveled to Carson to take on the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) game.

However, the Golden Eagles found themselves on the wrong side of the box score, as they were defeated by their rivals, 80-63.

The Golden Eagles trailed by one point after the first quarter, 16-15, and managed to take over the lead early in the second. The Golden Eagles held onto the lead for most of the second quarter. After leading 29-25, the Golden Eagles allowed the Toros to go on a 11-2 run as they trailed 36-31 at the end of the second quarter.

As the third quarter began, the Golden Eagles pulled in one, trailing the Toros 36-35. This was the closest the Golden Eagles got, as the Toros continued to score, going on a 16-2 run in the third quarter.

“We didn’t have enough energy. The Toros out-hustled us and they wanted it more and it showed,” said Golden Eagles’ Senior Guard Chiderah Uzowuru. “We have got to play with more passion, effort and intensity.”

Uzowuru led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Golden Eagles’ Junior Center Rachael DiRegolo was the only other player on her team to be in double-figures in scoring, with 11 points. DiRegolo also had four rebounds and three blocks.

“We’re getting good looks, but we’re missing all kinds of layups,” said interim Head Coach Torino Johnson. “Those points on the board hurt because we’re not converting. We’re executing on our offense and we’re moving the ball well, but we need to make our layups and our uncontested shots.”

The Golden Eagles were outscored by their rivals in the second half, 44-32. Despite having more points in the paint than the Toros (32-30), the Golden Eagles were outscored when it came to second chance points—21-5 in favor of the Toros. The Toros also had the edge in rebounds, racking up a total of 59, while the Golden Eagles only had 28.

“We weren’t able to match their aggressiveness to compete for positioning when it came to rebounding,” said Coach Johnson. “That was a category that we were overwhelmed in.”

The Golden Eagles shot 44.2 percent from the field, 5-of-11 from 3-point range, while the Toros 39.5 percent and made 10-of-31 from 3-point range.

After Saturday’s game, the Golden Eagles are now 6-11 overall this season. They are currently in 12th place of the CCAA Conference with a record of 3-10.

With the loss, the Golden Eagles losing streak is extended to eight straight games, the longest losing streak for Cal State LA since the 2010-11 season, when they lost 10 games in a row.

Coach Johnson does not believe this loss takes his team out of playoff contention, since the Golden Eagles remain 2.5 games out of eighth place with nine games remaining in the season.

“We have so much life left in this season. We’re still in the thick of things, so there’s no reason to mail it in,” said Johnson. “We got a job to do and we’re going to go out there and finish it off and show some professionalism as student-athletes and coaches.”

“There’s many more games to play,” said Uzowuru. “We have that mindset of trying to get better everyday.”

The Golden Eagles’ road trip continues next week as they travel to San Francisco State University to take on the Gators on Thursday Jan. 31.

“We have to make sure we’re in a position and a mindset to defend the Gators’ dribble penetration,” said Coach Johnson. “They have a lot of really good guards that are crafty and last time they played us, they really hurt us.” The Golden Eagles’ last encounter with the Gators was a defeat at home, 87-85 on Jan. 5.

Afterwards, they’ll head to Rohnert Park, CA to battle the Sonoma State Seawolves on Saturday Feb. 2, before heading home to face the Cal State East Bay Pioneers in their 2019 Homecoming Game on Feb. 7.

For Uzowuru and her teammates, they will take Saturday’s game as a lesson.

“In order to win games, we have to have energy, effort, intensity and we have to execute all of those to win,” said Uzowuru.