Long Beach State men’s basketball team shakes off first half offensive struggles to beat Cal Poly 64-60 Friday afternoon, snapping its 4-game losing streak.
Despite shooting 7-for-29 from the field (24%) in the first half, the Beach finished the late comeback behind junior guard Michael Carter III’s 23 second-half points.
After being held scoreless in the first-half, Carter III showed up in crunch time scoring 17 of the Beach’s last 18 points from the 7:11 mark in the second half.
The Beach’s senior guard Isaiah Washington found Carter III open for three on back-to-back possessions to knot the game up at 54 with 6:13 left in the second half.
He scored 10 straight points to bring CSULB back from a six point deficit to give them their first lead of the game, Carter III went 6-for-7 from the floor and 9-for-11 from the free throw line in the second half.
With the win the Beach improved to 4-7, 3-4 in conference while Cal Poly falls to 3-14, 1-10 in conference as the Mustangs have now lost four games in a row.
Cal Poly sophomore forward Alimamy Koroma got the Mustangs off to a good start scoring six points and snagging five rebounds as Cal Poly opened the game on a 8-2 run.
Koroma finished the game with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
CSULB played suffocating defense while struggling to score in the first half causing nine Mustang turnovers and holding them to 3-for-18 from three-point territory.
The Beach went more than eight and a half minutes without scoring a field goal before Washington intercepted a pass attempt that immediately translated to a layup with 5:40 remaining in the first half.
Washington had 10 points in the first half, finishing the game with 11 while going 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
Cal Poly senior forward Mark Crowe entered the game shooting a near 40% clip from the three-point line but was held to 3 points in the first half while making only one of his seven three-point attempts.
Crowe hit a three-pointer with 18:44 remaining in the second half to break a tie and went the remainder of the game without attempting another shot, he finished the game with six points.
Junior forward Joe Hampton chipped in seven points, seven rebounds and two steals for the Beach.
Both teams are back at it Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid as Cal Poly looks to split this two-game series before heading back home.