Long Beach State’s men’s basketball team started off the regular season with a 95-89 comeback win in overtime against the University of Idaho Vandals, partially thanks to the debut effort of junior guard, Joel Murray.
While Murray led The Beach with 28 points, head coach Dan Monson also had very high praise for his defense.
“His first Division I game was outstanding,” Monson said. “More than that he plays both ends of the court, he defends and helps us rebound.”
Murray led the team with three steals and one block. Coach Monson calls Murray a “complete player.”
Despite struggling at the three-point line, The Beach did not allow that to affect their game as they excelled in other areas.
Long Beach dominated the paint, 50 points to Idaho’s 26, and edged out in the rebound category, 40 over 35. However, Monson noted that this was not the consistency he was looking for and the team needed to step up the flow of the game.
Turnovers were an issue for LBSU as they struggled to find the momentum to carry them through the game, as they had 17 against the Vandals. Monson mentioned turnovers can slow down the game, and that The Beach needed to play more aggressively.
“We have to be way more consistent. We have spirits of good offense and spirits of good defense,” Monson said. “But we have to play more of a complete game. We played twenty good minutes and twenty bad minutes, and there were inconsistent minutes, and that’s how you get an overtime game.”
The Beach’s next matchup is Monday night at UCLA at 8 p.m.