Beach Bench Leads The 49ers To A 65-50 Win Over Hawai'i
Long Beach State extends its home winning streak to 10 games.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Long Beach State absorbed a body blow, falling behind 12-0 to Hawai'i but was able to recover and eventually pull away for a 65-50 win over the Rainbow Warriors. The Beach got 31 points from the bench, including 12 from Travis Hammonds who led four 49ers that finished in double figures.
Hawai'i (15-8, 3-4 Big West) jumped out to a big lead, scoring the first 12 points of the game while holding the 49ers scoreless over the first four minutes. The slow start forced a Long Beach State (12-11, 6-1 Big West) timeout and line change, subbing out all five starters, but the bench responded, as Deontae North made three free throws after being fouled on a long range shot, and reserves held even and allowed the 49ers a chance to regroup.
North scored Long Beach State's first field goal with 13:36 left in the half, but Long Beach State would slowly cut into the lead, as Travis Hammonds hit a pair of threes to reduce the Hawai'i edge to one with 3:02 to play. A pair of North free throws gave the 49ers a brief lead, and the Beach went into the locker room down only by a point.
Long Beach State went on a 10-2 run to open the second half, with McKay LaSalle hitting a big 3-pointer to run the 49er lead to seven points with 15:23 to go.
Lockdown defense helped the 49ers close out the game. Leading 48-41 with 8:25 to play, Long Beach State held Hawai'i off of the board for the next five minutes, extending their lead to 58-41 in the process, and the bench was able to run off the remaining time to collect the win.
Hammonds led the squad with 12 points, but four 49ers finished in double-figures. North also scored 10 off of the bench, while Tyler Lamb added 10 points and David Samuels nearly had a second straight double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
The balanced scoring and strong defense for the 49ers helped Long Beach State absorb an off night from Mike Caffey, who finished with five points and four assists. The Beach held Hawai'i to 34.5 percent shooting, and kept leading scorer Aaron Valdes to eight points, and just five after the opening run.
"You'll always take a 15-point league win, especially against a team as talented as Hawai'i, but we've got to continue to work on things to get better," said Dan Monson. "In this league, it's all about who's going to be the best in March, who's going to be the most consistent, and right now, we're not consistent enough in every area."
With the win, the 49ers improve to 7-0 this season at home, and now have won 10 straight games in the Walter Pyramid. Both teams had 20 turnovers in what was a sloppy game at times. Roderick Bobbitt had eight steals but seven turnovers for the Rainbow Warriors, while UH was led in scoring by Stefan Jankovic who had 13 points.
Long Beach State remains at the Walter Pyramid next week, hosting UC Riverside at 7 p.m. on Thursday night before returning on Saturday to host UC Irvine at 4 p.m on ESPN3.
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