The early season results from Long Beach State men’s basketball have been inconstant. After battling with No. 21 UCLA last Friday night, LBSU (1-2) finished strong to beat Menlo College at Homecoming less then 24 hours later.
On Monday, the Beach opened the MGM Resorts Main Event with a 90-58 loss at Arizona State. LBSU only scored 16 points in the first half and shot 27 percent from the field. Junior Jordan Griffin had a team-high nine points. LBSU’s defense forced 18 turnovers and had 11 steals.
In the second of four MGM Resorts Main Event games, LBSU visits No. 17 Mississippi State on Friday at 6 p.m. PT and television coverage will be provided by SEC Network.
LBSU point guard Deishuan Booker scored a career-high 31 points at UCLA, a team-high 19 points on Saturday, and eight at ASU. The senior has also committed 15 of the 54 LBSU turnovers with only 10 of the 44 assists.
“I don’t mind taking chances and sometimes that involves turnovers,” Booker said on Saturday. “I’m still getting used to my teammates in the game. As time goes by, those will come down. It’s easily fixed with a little film and communication.”
Senior KJ Byers has come off the bench to average 7.3 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds, but LBSU is only shooting 37 percent as a team and is being outscored 79-72.
“We need to practice better to be ready for these types of games so we come out ready at the start,” sophomore Edon Maxhuni said. He has scored 18 points in 40 minutes off of the bench.
“Ultimately, for this team to reach its goals, it has to bounce back and do it three times in March in order to go to the NCAA Tournament,” Monson said. “It’s a mindset you need to play this many games in a few day and that comes from experience. We’ll get better at it, and that’s what the preseason is for. Hopefully we’ll learn from this.”
It wasn’t the week that Long Beach State women’s basketball coach Jeff Cammon was hoping for. His team dropped their home opener to Cal Baptist by two points on Friday, then got blown out by USC on Sunday afternoon, falling 86-50.
“It was a tough one tonight,” Cammon said after the loss to the Trojans. “It’s good for this young group to play a higher caliber team — we saw a lot of good things tonight, but a lot of things we need to work on.”
The list of things to work on spans the length of the box score. The first half in particular was brutal, with USC outscoring Long Beach 51-22, outrebounding them by double, and allowing just one Long Beach assist. The team ended up finishing with six assists and 24 turnovers.
“Our girls were really excited and ready to take on the challenge,” Cammon said. “I thought they tried to do it on their own a little bit.”
Shanaijah Davison had a career-high 34 points against Cal Baptist, but spent half of the game against USC on the bench. Her coming out party was against the Trojans last year when she dropped 29, but she was held to 0-for-7 shooting this year, finishing with one point.
“She struggled early offensively,” Cammon said. “This is basketball, you’re going to have some tough nights.”
Cammon did say he thought his team followed their scouting report on defense much better in the second half and said he was pleased with the way they competed on the boards in the second half. The Trojans outrebounded Long Beach 50-24 in the game, including grabbing 20 offensive boards.
Long Beach was led by 12 points apiece from Justina King and Sydney Bordonaro. USC got 21 points from Minyon Moore and 19 from Aliyah Mazyck.
Long Beach State will continue its Pac-12 nonleague schedule, playing the second of four opponents this Friday when they visit Utah.
LBSU (15-13, 7-8) snapped its four-match losing streak with a pair of four-set road victories at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton last week. LBSU senior Tyler Spriggs had 21 kills in both matches and a double-double against Fullerton with 21 kills and 10 digs. She was named Big West Player of the Week. Junior Hailey Harward earned Defensive Player of the Week honors, her fourth of the season, after averaging 6.13 digs per set last week.
The Beach is celebrating Senior Night for the season finale against Cal State Northridge on Saturday night.
Men’s Water Polo
After a tough month of October, LBSU (11-11, 3-2) extended its winning streak to four matches by beating Loyola Marymount and UC Irvine last week. Freshman Garrett Zaan scored in his 11th consecutive match. LBSU will host the GCC Tournament this weekend at Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center with Pacific, Pepperdine, UC Irvine and San Jose State participating. The Beach opens up against San Jose State on Friday afternoon.
Freshmen Sofia Ramos and Tyler Spencer were the top LBSU finishers at the NCAA West Regionals last week.
Freshmen Dominique Meyer and Wiktoria Rutkowska went 3-0 in doubles at the CSUN Fall Invitational before the final day was canceled due to poor air quality from the Woolsey Fire.