Marcus Tsohonis gave Long Beach State a glimpse of what the future can look like for the Beach as they search for their identity with a few new faces on the team.
Tsohonis scored a game-high 20 points and had five steals as Long Beach State defeated St. Katherine 84-55 Saturday afternoon.
“It was good to get Marcus in a in a flow today,” Long Beach State head coach Dan Monson said. “You know, he’s kind of a newer score of of all our new of our guys. And you know, just for guys to be able to figure out where he can help us
Tsohonis led an all-around effort by LBSU as four of the starting five finished in double figures and dominated the first half as the Beach used defense to spark offense. Aboubacar Traore scored 11, Joel Murray scored 13, While Chayce Polynice and Jadon Jones scored 10.
LBSU scored 21 points off turnovers as the Beach’s defense locked in and forced the Firebirds into mistakes.
“St. Katherine was overmatched in the fact that they they’re missing some, you know, a couple of key players and everything,” Monson said. “But I felt it was a good game for us to get some confidence in some of the things that we’re trying to do in practice.”
Jadon Jones, one of the veterans on the team, reminded everyone what he’s capable of, opening the game with back-to-back threes to put the Beach up 6-0.
After two made free throws by Tsohonis and lay-up from Chayce Polynice put LBSU up 10-0 two minutes into the game.
With a focus on getting into the paint, LBSU dominated on defense and in the paint on their way to a 36-13 lead at halftime.
While the game was never in doubt, LBSU’s defense let off the gas pedal in the second as St. Katherine scored 42 points in the second half.
“To go out second half and let your foot off the gas is unacceptable,” Monson said. “And we’ve got to be able to sustain to be a good or even a great team, a good team, let alone a great team. You’ve got to be able to sustain what we’re trying to do and that just comes from practice and confidence and experience.”
The Beach will now take their usual preseason trip together when they head to the Bahamas for the Baha Mar Hoops tournament. It’s perfect timing for a LBSU that features new personalities.
In previous years, the Beach’s preseason road trip has served as a moment for the team to come together.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Tsohonis said. “It’s gonna be a long flight, you know, we’re going to be in the airport with each other. So, it’s just all those little things really help go through a little struggle or whatever, you know, just knowing that we’re together.”