Beach Beats Tampa With Balanced Performance 87-60
Five players finish in double-figures for Long Beach State for the third time in 2015-16.
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State scored 40 points in the paint, as five players finished in double-figures and seven players had at least four rebounds in an 87-60 win over Tampa Saturday. A.J. Spencer led the way with 16 points.
Head Coach Dan Monson spread the minutes around Saturday against Tampa (3-6), with no player playing more than 24, and the 49ers responded with a very balanced performance to earn the win against the Spartans. The team finished with 46 rebounds, one off of the season best for the Beach and saw seven players reach eight points in scoring on the way on the way to 87 total points, also second-most on the year.
"We came out of Wednesday's game knowing that if we don't make some defensive and rebounding improvement, it's going to be a long season for us," said Monson. "That gave us a clear picture of where we were at, and we're not happy with it. I was pleased with our guys today, their attitude to come out and have some accountability on that end of the floor."
Long Beach State held Tampa to 60 points, the second lowest total on the year for an oppontne as well as keeping the Spartans to just 41.2 percent shooting from the floor.
Mason Riggins scored a career-high nine points, helping to establish the Long Beach State (6-6) paint presence, while Spencer, Travis Hamonds, Noah Blackwell, Roschon Prince and Nick Faust each scored in double-figures.
"Mason is our one guy that gives us a true inside presence as far as size, strength, and athleticsm," said Monson. "It was good to see him go grab a couple of rebounds outside of his area."
Tampa held tough in the first half behind good 3-point shooting, as the Spartans shot 41.2 percent in the opening period. A Matt Johnson layup at gave the Spartans a brief lead in the first half at 10-9, but a Hammonds 3-pointer on the other end put Long Beach State back in front for good.
A 3-pointer by Spencer pushed the Long Beach State lead to eight with just over 10 minutes left in the first half, and LBSU led 38-29 at the break.
A 9-0 run out of the gate for the Beach in the second-half opened things up for Long Beach State, and the Spartans never came closer than 12 points for the rest of the game.
Quentin Shropshire scored his first basket for the Beach on a breakaway from his own steal, and Anson Moye played a season-high 16 minutes off the bench, each contributing to a 31-point effort from the Long Beach State bench.
The Beach is back in action next week, traveling to face a Top 25 opponent in No. 21 Oregon on the road in Eugene. That game is schedule to tip at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 18, and will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.
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