Long Beach State Closes 2017 With 77-59 Win Over Texas A&M International
Five players finished in double-figures for the Beach.
Long Beach, Calif. - A shorthanded Long Beach State squad still proved to be too much for Texas A&M International in the final game of the non-conference schedule for the Beach, who pulled away from the Dustdevils for a 77-59 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Long Beach State (6-10) played without its top three scorers on Saturday, with Gabe Levin, Bryan Alberts and Deishuan Booker all being held out due to nagging injuries. The handicap didn't significantly slow the Beach however, as the team had five players in double-figures for the first time this season, led by Temidayo Yussuf, who had 15 points in a season-high 21 minutes while making his first start of the season.
The Beach also got a lift from the return of Breamon Richard, who made his Division I debut with 19 minutes, sharing point guard duties with Edon Maxhuni in the absence of Booker. Both finished with four points, two rebounds and two assists in mirror image evenings.
It was the defensive effort that carried the day, as Texas A&M International (7-7, Exhibition) shot just 36.8 percent from the field, and finished with 59 points as the Beach won the rebounding battle by 12, 40 to 28.
TAMIU scored two early baskets to hold leads, but an 11-1 after the first 90 seconds put Long Beach State in front for good. The cushion for Long Beach State would hover around the ten-point mark for much of the half, and LBSU led 36-27 at halftime.
The Dustdevils made a push out of the locker room, and a 3-pointer from Jeremy Wright cut the 49er lead to five points briefly at 42-37, but an answering triple from Jordan Griffin sparked a run for the Beach. A 15-5 run capped by a jumper from Yussuf gave the Beach an 18-point lead, and LBSU was never again threatened on the way to the win.
Long Beach State opens Big West play next Thursday, also in the Walter Pyramid, as the Beach hosts Hawai'i. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, and is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m.
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