Beach Rolls Past Nevada 68-57 To Remain Unbeaten At Home
Freshman Temidayo Yussuf picked up his first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State overcame an off shooting night with strong defense, holding off Nevada 68-57 to improve to 5-4 on the year and 3-0 at home. Mike Caffey led the 49ers with 17 points, while Temidayo Yussuf picked up his first collegiate double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Neither team shot the ball well, Long Beach State at 31.8 percent, Nevada at 32 percent, but a swarming defense that forced 19 Nevada turnovers helped Long Beach State combat a rare off night from the field.
Tyler Lamb kept the 49ers within striking distance over the first ten minutes with a pair of 3-pointers, and Long Beach State got a lift defensively from the return of Travis Hammonds near the end of the second half Nevada held a three-point edge as the team's approached the five minute mark, but Freshman Jack Williams hit a three to extend a slim lead to four points, kick starting a 14-0 run for the Beach capped by a Hammonds jumper to give the 49ers a 31-20 lead.
Nevada made a push in the second half, cutting the 49er lead to 41-40 with 12:12 left to play on a jumper from D.J. Fenner, but Caffey was able to get to the line, and a 3-pointer by Branford Jones pushed the cushion back up to six points. Long Beach State was good for 12 points from the line in the second half, led by Yussuf who went 7-for-10 and Caffey, who went 3-for-4.
"It's encouraging that we can win, and still feel like we didn't play as well as we should," said Dan Monson. "The team is starting to get a little bit of an identity, one of winning at the defensive end. If your offense is there, that's great, and if it's not, you still have a way to win a basketball game."
Lamb joined Caffey and Yussuf in double-figures with 14 points, while Hammonds added eight in 17 minutes in his return to the team.
Long Beach State will face its most difficult stretch of the year, playing its next six games on the road, a stretch that includes five NCAA Tournament teams from last season, and three ranked in the Top 25. The Beach will begin that test Friday, starting with Stephen F. Austin with top-off scheduled for 5 p.m. PT.
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