Beach States

LONG BEACH — The Long Beach State men’s basketball team displayed a lot of improvement on Saturday, just not enough for a victory.

Long Beach played even with Loyola Marymount for most of its nonconference game but was unable to overcome a big run by the Lions in the second half and lost, 77-74, at the Walter Pyramid.

Joel Murray (19 points), Colin Slater (14), Jordan Roberts (13) and Jadon Jones (11) each scored in double figures and Roberts had a team-high eight rebounds as LBSU (2-6) made strides following its lopsided loss to San Diego State on Tuesday night.

LMU (5-3) was led by Joe Quintana with 20 points. Dameane Douglas had 17 points and Eli Scott had 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Long Beach led, 37-30, at halftime and led by nine (45-36) four minutes into the second half. But the hosts had just one field goal over the next eight minutes as the Lions went on a 24-5 run.

“I’m bummed for my guys,” LBSU coach Dan Monson said. “They made drastic improvements from our last game, but we’re still learning how to be consistent.

“I think we have a team that can be good on offense and defense, but we haven’t been able to sustain it when we play well. We played our best defense of the season in the first half, and we were up by nine in the second when the momentum shifted.”

Four of LBSU’s six losses have been by 20 points or more.

Slater, a senior guard, had two 3-pointers and Eddie Scott a dunk on a rebound at the buzzer to cap a 10-3 LBSU run at the end of the first half. Joe Hampton had a tip-in and then followed with an assist on a Roberts basket to push the lead to 45-36 in the second half.

They went cold thereafter at the same time LMU ignited, Cam Shelton and Alex Merkviladze hitting 3-pointers on a quick 8-0 run to take the lead.

After a Roberts three-point play, LMU went on another 12-0 run to build a 10-point lead. Steals by Roberts and Drew Cobb finally swung the momentum around on a 16-6 LBSU run to draw even at 66-all with 3:49 left.

LBSU then hit pause, unable to get a shot on its next possession and settling for a rushed jumper on the following opportunity. A Cam Shelton layup gave LMU a 73-69 lead with 1:11 left, then Cobb and Murray missed shots on the same possession.

An LMU offensive rebound led to a pair of Quintana free throws to give the Lions a six-point lead with 18 seconds left. Murray cut the margin to four again on a layup with 11 seconds left, but a pair of Douglas free throws with nine seconds left gave LMU a six-point cushion before a Cobb 3-pointer with two seconds left capped the scoring.

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“We know what we’re capable of, but we haven’t been able to put 40 good minutes together,” said Murray, a junior transfer from West Texas A&M.

“The hard thing about coaching is keeping your team confident through adversity,” Monson said. “We’re learning as we play, which can be difficult.”

Long Beach has two home games and a road game against USC over the next two weeks before Big West Conference play begins.

UP NEXT

Long Beach State next hosts Bethesda University (of Anaheim) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Source : https://www.ocregister.com/2021/12/04/long-beach-state-shows-progress-in-loss-to-loyola-marymount/

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