Basketball Long Beach State

Long Beach State Men’s Basketball Beats Cal Lutheran In Exhibition

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State athletics for the 2023-24 season is sponsored by Marilyn Bohl.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State basketball for the 2023-24 season is sponsored by Nelson Farris.

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Long Beach State men’s basketball recorded assists on 29 of its 43 made field goals on Thursday night at Walter Pyramid while beating Cal Lutheran 107-63 in a season opening exhibition.

“It’s been a very selfless team,” LBSU coach Dan Monson said. “Sometimes when their families get in the stands that’s something that changes, and it didn’t change today. This team has been shooting the ball well and taking good shots.”

LBSU junior Lassina Traore scored a game-high 18 points to go with seven rebounds while junior Jadon Jones made five of his six 3-pointers for 17 points. He also had five of the 17 steals for the Beach.

“I owe a lot of it to (assistant coach Senque Carey) because after every practice he puts me through some shooting drills,” Jones said. “I’m not going to say which because that’s our secrets, but shooting a lot after practice has been really good for getting my confidence up.”

Creating those open looks was transfers Isa Silva and Messiah Thompson. In their LBSU debuts at point guard, Thompson had eight assists off the beach while Silva got the start and contributed six points and six assists in a little over 17 minutes on the floor.

“I’m trying to stay aggressive because I know that’s what the team needs,” Silva said. “In the second half some things were open for me so I was able to get down hill and see different people. It’s just a process day by day thing to get back to playing uptempo like I enjoy. Coach and my teammates have been super helpful in not letting me play robotic.”

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Returning two-guard Marcus Tsohonis scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting while new guards Messiah Thompson and Varrick Lewis both scored in double figures. Amari Stroud came off the bench to score 12 points and grab five rebounds in 16 minutes on the floor.

Cal Lutheran shot 15-for-56 from the field and 10 of those makes were from 3-point range.

“That’s exactly what we weren’t trying to do,” Monson said. “That’s one of the biggest negatives that came out of tonight and I told (the team) that’s going to get us beat at Portland if we don’t get better at it.”

LBSU opens its regular season at Portland on Monday night.

PHOTOS: Long Beach State vs. Cal Lutheran, Men’s Basketball
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.