The Long Beach State men’s basketball team dropped its preseason opener 85-61 losing against Loyola Marymount on Friday at the Gersten Pavilion.
The Lions splashed in 15 three-pointers and almost shot 50% from the field. Long Beach wasn’t so fortunate in shooting percentage, as it was 4-15 from downtown, only converting 19-59 from the field (32.2%).
In the program’s first game back in 267 days, The Beach (0-1) was led in scoring by guard Michael Carter III who had 19 points.
Senior guard Isaiah Washington followed close behind with 17 points, three rebounds and three assists. Junior guard Chance Hunter contributed 13 points for the Beach before fouling out in the second half.
From the opening tip, the Lions, who had played three games prior to Friday’s game, never trailed, as they opened up a 5-0 run which eventually blossomed into an 8-2 run. The Beach got no closer than two, as they pulled to within 9-7 with some timely free throws early on.
Loyola Marymount (2-2) was led by guard Joe Quintana who had a career-high 20 points, chipping in four rebounds and four assists. Forward Ivan Alipiev registered a double-double for LMU, adding 16 points and 10 rebounds while forward Demeane Douglas had 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
But Long Beach went cold after that, as LMU went on a 12-0 run at the 14:12 mark of the first half to distance themselves from the visitors. During that run, panic arose for the Beach as Carter III went down with a knee injury. He eventually came back after sitting out for about three minutes in the first half, returning at the 7:28 mark in the first half .
The Beach didn’t reach double digits until the 9:07 mark of the first half, as they trailed 21-11, forcing a timeout from the Lions. The timeout seemed to have galvanized LMU, as it went on a 10-0 run to build its biggest lead of the half. Eventually, the Lions went into the halftime intermission up 42-28.
LMU eventually led 52-37 when the Beach went on a 6-0 run to get the lead down to 52-43 at the 14:02 mark of the second half. That marked the first time the Lions only led by single digits.
One department Long Beach didn’t struggle in compared to the Lions was turnovers, only having 15 compared to the Lions’ 19.
The Lions, who at one point led by as much as 24, bombarded the Beach with three-pointers and timely baskets, eventually becoming too much of a deficit to come back from.
Long Beach State will face Seattle University Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.