CM – Long Beach State Basketball shakes off the rust and beats Westcliff

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The Long Beach State men’s basketball team was back at the Walter Pyramid on Wednesday night, playing their first game in more than three weeks after six games were canceled due to COVID-19 issues.

Colin Slater had 23 points – one of four LBSU players to score in double digits – as the hosts scored a 90-64 win over Westcliff University, an Irvine NAIA program. Joel Murray had 13 points and Jordan Roberts and Joe Hampton each had 11 points and five rebounds for Long Beach, who shot 51% off the field and dominated the glass against a smaller opponent.

Jadon Jones added nine points, six rebounds and two blocks added, and freshman Aboubacar Traore had a team high of nine rebounds, two blocks for LBSU (4-7), who had a 44-32 lead on the boards in their first game since a December 12 loss at USC . Long Beach shot 31 for 61 overall, including a 6-for-19 mark out of 3-point range, and finished 22 for 26 from the free-throw line.

Long Beach finished the first half with a 17-6 run to build a 48:35 by halftime, but Westcliff (2: 5) reduced the gap to 58:52 with less than 12 minutes left in the game. LBSU then took control by holding the defense, keeping Westcliff on only three field goals in the final 10 minutes while Slater and Murray got hot. Long Beach beat Westcliff 27:11 in the final 11 minutes to sail to victory.

Joshua Harrison had 17 points, five rebounds and five steals and Joshua Jones added 13 points and nine rebounds for Westcliff.

LBSU faces a quick turnaround thanks to a unique no-conference rematch against fifth-placed UCLA (8-1) on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the Pauley Pavilion. Like Long Beach, UCLA is plagued by COVID-related issues and has not played a game since its December 11 win at Marquette. The Bruins defeated LBSU 100-79 when the teams competed in Westwood on November 15th.

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Due to additional COVID precautions, participation in the second leg on Thursday is limited to family members of players from both teams. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 network.

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