It’s a “process” for the Long Beach State men’s basketball team.
The Beach have stretches where they are playing great basketball, and other times where they are struggling.
On Saturday, it was a tale of two halves as LBSU fell to Loyola Marymount, 77-74.
“From Wednesday (72-47 loss to San Diego State) to today, we made drastic improvements but we couldn’t sustain,” LBSU coach Dan Monson said.
Junior Joel Murray led LBSU (2-6) with 19 points as the team lost for the sixth time in their last seven games.
“It was a step in the right direction,” Murray said. “Just playing 40 minutes is all we are missing.”
The Beach trailed by two points with 1:32 remaining but missed a couple of chances to keep and one-score game.
“We are trusting each other and the ball moved better today,” Monson said.
The Beach jumped out to a 13-7 lead in the first six minutes of the game before the Lions battled back. Seniors Joe Hampton (11 points) and Jordan Roberts (10) led the charge in the first half. LBSU ended the half on a 8-2 run and were up, 37-30.
“The first half was our best defense of the year,” Monson said.
After taking 20 3-point attempts in the first half, LMU moved the ball into the paint after halftime and it led to the Lions making 17 of its 18 free-throw attempts.
“They got into rhythm,” Monson said.
LMU had a 12-1 run midway through the second half to take the lead but LBSU responded with an 8-0 run of its own in the back and forth game.
Senior Joe Quintana led the Lions with 20 points.
LBSU honored the 1991 national champion men’s volleyball team at halftime.
The Beach hosts Bethesda on Wednesday at 7 p.m.