Beach Finishes Off UC Riverside On The Road 78-71
Justin Bibbins finishes with 21 points in the victory.
Riverside, Calif. - Temidayo Yussuf had a monster first half, while Justin Bibbins and Evan Payne brought the Long Beach State men's basketball team home in the second half in a 78-71 road win at UC Riverside.
Yussuf scored 17 points with six rebounds and four assists in a strong night for sophomore big man, including 13 first-half points. He helped Long Beach State (11-15, 6-4 Big West) hold close early, and had four quick points in the second before taking a hard fall that limited his minutes for a good stretch.
The guards picked up from there, as Bibbins finished with a game-high 21 points with perfect 3-for-3 shooting from behind the arc, while Evan Payne added 16 points as the trio led the way for Long Beach State to sweep the season series against UC Riverside (7-14, 5-5 Big West).
Yussuf's early work in the paint helped Long Beach State open a nine-point lead in the first half, but UC Riverside chipped away and took the lead for the first time at 34-33, and led at the break 42-41.
The sophomore forward scored the first basket of the second half, and the Beach never again trailed. Back-to-back threes from Loren Jackson and Bibbins pushed the lead to seven points at 54-47 with 14:27 left in the game.
UC Riverside had one more push, pulling to within one at 61-60 on a layup from Alex Larsson, but Long Beach State answered with a 9-0 run with all nine points coming from Bibbins and Payne to pull away.
Roschon Prince added eight points and six rebounds, while Loren Jackson scored nine points for the Beach, including two 3-pointers. The triple really helped the Beach on Thursday night, as LBSU shot 50% from deep (9-for-18), helping offset a point in the paint edge for the Highlanders.
Long Beach State will stay on the road for the rest of the week, traveling to face Cal State Fullerton in Titan Gym on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN3.
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