Men's Basketball, Men's Sports, Sports

LBSU men’s basketball wins against Biola University

The Long Beach State men’s basketball team had to make key shots and defensive stops, something that didn’t happen throughout most of the game, to get a win over a talented Biola University on Friday.

If this game were a regular season game, LBSU head coach Dan Monson said he’d be “super disappointed on how (they) played,” as The Beach struggled mightily in their exhibition game offensively, defensively and in rebounding the ball.

Monson said the game gave the team some adversity by the aggressive style Biola had defensively and their three-point shooting.

The Beach got out to a bad first half, shooting an abysmal 34.8% of shots from the field and further compounding their issues were 11 turnovers turned into 16 points for the Biola Eagles, not letting them establish any type of offensive consistency.

Biola lead as much as 13 points in the first half, after Eagles guard Daniel Esparza was red hot from the three-point line, going 5 for 6 from beyond to end up with 15 points and 24 points for the entire game.

Long Beach just couldn’t corral the loose balls in the first half, which led to 8 offensive rebounds for Biola that gave them eight second chance points to keep distance between them and LBSU, leading 41-29 at the half.

No where to go for Biola freshman forward Tyus Parrish-Tillman as LBSU sophomore forward Lassina Traore keeps his eye on the ball while staying ready to deflect a pass in the comeback win over Biola at home on Friday.
No where to go for Biola freshman forward Tyus Parrish-Tillman as LBSU sophomore forward Lassina Traore keeps his eye on the ball while staying ready to deflect a pass in the comeback win over Biola at home on Friday. Photo credit: Sonny Tapia

“A wake-up call only works if you get out of bed and get going and doesn’t work if you go back to sleep,” Monson said.

And wake up they did, as The Beach finally got going, stringing together defensive stops midway through the second half and got back into the game. They outscored the Eagles during that time, 28-11, that saw them down 12 points to being up five points, their largest lead of the night.

Contributing to that run was Lassina and Aboubacar Traore, as well as Tone Hunter, who all scored in double digits to overcome the slow start in the first half.

Another huge help was the aggressiveness that LBSU players showed in drawing fouls, attempting 28 free throws for the entire game compared to six for Biola.

The full court pressure proved too much for the Eagles, turning it over 11 times for The Beach to work themselves back into the game.

Three of those 11 turnovers from Biola were forced by Long Beaches Jadon Jones, who also overcame a bad half in where he didn’t score, ending up with 14 points and three rebounds.

Teamwork allows wins to flow for teams, especially for The Beach on Friday against Biola as they huddle before the final seconds of a timeout.
Teamwork allows wins to flow for teams, especially for The Beach on Friday against Biola as they huddle before the final seconds of a timeout. Photo credit: Sonny Tapia

“We just got to hold ourselves to the standard of Long Beach basketball,” Jones said.

While the Eagles defense stymied their offense, Long Beach has a relatively new team with new rotations. Jones knows what they need to fix and work on for their first game of the season in the next two weeks.

As the Biola defensive pressure didn’t allow the players to execute what they needed to, the team will look back at this game to make improvements.

“Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth,” Monson said, quoting Mike Tyson.

Monson also gave credit to the Eagles, noting that for the most part, they outplayed them as a team because they trusted each other to make the right play despite the talent level.

LBSU sophomore guard Tone Hunter leaps to contest the long-range two point shot from Biola redshirt senior guard Alex Wright during The Beach's win at home on Friday.
LBSU sophomore guard Tone Hunter leaps to contest the long-range two point shot from Biola redshirt senior guard Alex Wright during The Beach's win at home on Friday. Photo credit: Sonny Tapia

One important player missing from the game was senior guard Joel Murray, who sat out of precaution for a minor injury.

Monson said that his absence may have contributed to cause other players to overcompensate and take them out of the offense.

Long Beach will face off against California Baptist University for their first game of the season on Nov. 7 in Riverside.

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