Long Beach, Calif. - Sophomore Temidayo Yussuf had a big night on the inside, finishing with 24 points and seven rebounds as Long Beach State had 38 points in the paint, but Cal Poly had a bigger night from the outside, hitting 13 3-pointers on the way to a 78-71 win over the Beach.
Back-to-back threes from Ridge Shipley and Victor Joseph would cut the LBSU lead quickly, setting the first half tone for Cal Poly (9-18, 4-9 Big West). In all, the Mustangs would shoot 52.9 percent from three, hitting 9-of-17 in the first half.
The Beach would move ahead to a seven-point edge at 21-14, but a 11-1 Cal Poly run that featured threes from Joseph, Shipley and Kyle Toth put Cal Poly on top for good. A final run over the closing seconds of the first half capped by a three from Luke Meikle gave the Mustangs an 11-point halftime lead.
"We've struggled all year with teams that spread you out with the bounce and kick and shoot the ball," said head coach Dan Monson. "Defensively, it's being in two places; being able to help on the bounce and get back to the shooters. You've got to give Cal Poly credit. They dictated that game, they were the aggressor offensively, and defensively, they frustrated us enough to win."
Long Beach State continued to work the ball inside as Yussuf finished one point away from his career high in the second half. The Beach cut the lead to four points at 59-55 on a runner from Loren Jackson, but a Meikle three was again the answer from Cal Poly to slow the rally.
Chipping away over the closing minutes, Long Beach State cut an 11-point lead at 72-61 down to four points at 75-71 on a pair of Justin Bibbins free throws, but that would be the closets the Beach would get in the 78-71 loss.
Long Beach State will take its final trip of the regular season, heading up to face UC Davis on Saturday at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
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