Basketball Long Beach State

Long Beach State Basketball Tops Westcliff In Return to Court

The Long Beach State men’s basketball team waited 23 days between their last game and their contest against Westcliff Wednesday night at Walter Pyramid.

After facing USC on Dec. 12, the Beach (4-7) had six straight cancellations including two back-to-back contests where the team was on their opponents’ campus before having to head back home.

“After six straight games being canceled and the disappointment yesterday of not having Fullerton – to get back out there today was just great,” Long Beach State coach Dan Monson said. “I mean nobody’s played since before Christmas and you know some were in quarantine during that time and it showed and that’s why we played the game.”

After having only a six point lead in the second half, Colin Slater went on a run to score a game-high 23 points to lead the Beach to a 90-64 victory over Westcliff.

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While Slater was happy to be back on the court, he recognized the severity of the latest COVID surge.

“First and foremost, people lose their lives over these viruses,” Slater said. “So, it’s a blessing to be able to, you kow, have all my teammates back. Even though we weren’t able to play at times and it got hard, but at the end of the day it’s a blessing to be here. I’m so thankful that the coaches have been really particular with us on moving on and living in the moment and enjoying the fact that we could still practice and we could still enjoy the little things and have the opportunity to go out there and play.”

With the long hiatus the Beach looked rusty at times, but Monson knew that would be the case after not being on the court since early December.

“I think they were taking back a little bit with some of the careless things we did,” Monsoon said. “But, hopefully tomorrow we can clean some of that up and play harder.”

While the team was happy to be back on the court, Slater admitted that things were tough after having the streak of disappointing cancellations. But as the team focused on getting back on the court, it fueled their motivation to control what they could.

“There were a lot of moments where it was challenging, you know what I mean?” Slater said. “We would literally, after games get canceled, we’d meet up and sit together and talk, you know what I mean? It was the main thing that we just kind of stuck together and we were like, ‘Hey dude, I know that we’re all frustrated. If we want to hang out with somebody, let’s hang out with each other.’”

The Beach will have a quick turnaround as they had to Westwood to take on UCLA for the second time this season after the team was able to add another non-conference game.

“What a great opportunity for these guys,” Monson said. “You know, I think I lectured them before, the last game that, you know, these seniors will never get to play at UCLA again, you know, they take advantage of it because it’s a once in a lifetime experience and here we go, we get a second. They get to do it again.”

VIDEO: Long Beach State vs Westcliff Basketball

Matt Simon
Matt Simon has been covering sports since 2013. After graduating from Long Beach State, he has covered sports for multiple publications throughout Southern California.