View Original Notice ? Long Beach State beats UC San Diego, faces UC Irvine next
LA JOLLA — Long Beach State rolled out to a big lead behind an excellent defensive first half, then found its offensive rhythm in the second to defeat UC San Diego, 87-69, on Thursday night in the first game between the new Big West Conference foes.
Colin Slater and Joel Murray scored 20 points apiece, and Aboubacar Traore had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots for LBSU (7-9 overall), which ended its four-game road losing streak. Jordan Roberts and Joe Hampton each added 10 points.
Toni Rocak had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Tritons (8-9), who lost their fourth consecutive game. Francis Nwaokorie added 13 points and Jake Kosakowski had 12.
Long Beach sprinted to a 14-4 lead early, and a Slater 3-pointer extended the visitors’ lead to 29-12 while the defense was suffocating the Tritons.
LBSU held the hosts to just 21 points in the first half on 30% shooting, collecting seven steals and blocking four shots while building a 41-21 lead by the intermission.
Rocak got rolling after halftime and helped the Tritons get within five points on two occasions, the latest coming at 65-60 with just over six minutes left.
Long Beach ratcheted up the defense again and held UCSD to just two field goals from there and pulled away. Slater’s last basket pushed the lead back to 18 in the final minute.
While UCSD is playing a full conference schedule this season, Big West guidelines stipulate that games against the Tritons do not count toward the league standings.
Long Beach (2-1 Big West) next hosts rival UC Irvine (6-6, 1-2) on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid. The game time was moved up so it could be broadcast live on Spectrum SportsNet.