Defensive struggles doomed Long Beach State men’s basketball in its Big West Conference opening 95-77 loss on Wednesday night at Cal State Northridge. The Beach had won seven of the last 10 meetings with CSUN coming into this game.
LBSU (5-12, 0-1) sophomore Michael Carter III scored a team-high 19 points as four players finished in double-figures. However, CSUN (6-11, 1-0) shot 59.3 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Beach 42-31 while celebrating the return of defending Big West Player of the Year Lamine Diane.
Sophomore Chance Hunter finished with 18 points, junior Colin Slater scored 15 and freshman Romelle Mansel scored a career-high 11.
The Beach ran out to a 11-5 lead, but a 12-2 run by CSUN helped it take a 52-43 into halftime. Diane scored a game-high 33 points to help maintain the lead.
LBSU is at UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. on Saturday.