Long Beach State’s first game back in the Walter Pyramid resulted in a dominating 82-65 win over Biola University in Friday’s exhibition game.
Biola’s offense was no match against LBSU’s defense as the Eagles struggled to make points within the paint. The Beach rose to a 19-point lead within the first 10 minutes of the game.
The Pyramid erupted in cheers after guard Aboubacar Traore dunked over a Biola defender with only 1.5 seconds left on the clock giving LBSU a 20 point lead in the first half.
“There were stretches there where we showed ourselves and a few fans for the first time in a year and a half how good we can be when we’re doing things the right way,” Coach Monson said.
Guard Colin Slater played the most minutes (27) and had the most points (17) out of LBSU followed by three rebounds. Right behind him was guard Joe Murray with 14 points and forward Joe Hampton who came close to a double-double with 11 points and 9 rebounds.
Slater stated he was happy and excited to be back in the Pyramid amongst LBSU fans.
“Having our fans out there to support us again is definitely something you look forward to and we’re grateful for it,” Slater said.
In Friday’s game, Biola Guard Chris Rossow gave The Beach the biggest challenge, who managed to weave in and out of each beach player pushing hard in the paint and ending the game with 22 points, the highest on the Biola team.
At the start of the second half, Biola came back hard with a more put-together defense moving the ball downcourt and bringing them to a 10-point deficit, which was the lowest of the night.
After four turnovers from LBSU and a shot clock violation, Biola fans rose to their feet and were cheering loud but, Biola was unsuccessful in catching up to LBSU and would never take the lead in the game.
Though this was an exhibition game, Monson said this game sets the tone for the rest of the season.
“Anytime they put the scoreboard on it’s an important game,” Monson said. “We got them out of the rhythm early in the game, and defensively we were locked in.
Monson was proud of how the team handled themselves on the court and could see the flawless chemistry amongst each player. But for the season opener in Idaho, Monson says the team has to keep the momentum going.
“It’s going to take a lot better performance than we had tonight for that [win] to happen,” Monson said. “The culture they’re setting up right now, I think sets the table for us to be a good road team.”
LBSU is set to play at the University of Idaho Nov. 10 for their first official opening game of the season.