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.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach State men’s basketball for the 2023-24 season is sponsored by Arline & Mike Walter.
With leading scorer Marcus Tsohonis on the bench nursing a hand injury, Long Beach State men’s basketball used a big night from Jadon Jones and stingy defense down the stretch to beat Sacramento State 83-73 on Saturday at Walter Pyramid.
“We have a very talented group of guys and any of them can go off, so it just happened to be my night,” said LBSU guard Jadon Jones, who led all scorers with a season-high 24 points. “The ball just found me tonight and I’m thankful for my teammates swinging it my way and believing in me.”
The Beach led by four with two minutes to play when Jones drilled his third 3-pointer of the night. He also hit consecutive midrange jumpers out of the eight-minute media timeout.
“He was great,” LBSU coach Dan Monson said of Jones. “He got himself into a flow and then we tried to go to him a little bit down the stretch. He looked like a leader today.”
LBSU outscored Sacramento State 46-28 in the paint while Lassina Traore recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
“He responded at halftime,” Monson said of Traore. “When we’ve won he’s dominated the inside and today was no different.”
Sacramento State was outrebounding LBSU 23-14 at halftime, but Traore turned the tides down low with a handful of offensive rebounds in the first eight minutes of the second half.
“I just want to keep improving my attitude and effort on the court,” Traore said.
The Beach also had 23 assists and only eight turnovers as Isa Silva captained the offense with nine points and six assists. Fellow point guard Messiah Thompson came off the bench for six points, three assists and two steals. LBSU was +14 during Thompson’s 17 minutes on the floor.
Forward Aboubacar Traore got banged up in practice on Friday and wasn’t in the starting line up as a game-time decision, but came off to contribute eight point, eight rebounds and six assists before fouling out.
LBSU (5-4) is now on its first winning streak of the season after an eight-game roadtrip.
“It’s great to be back in the Pyramid, I think our guys fed off the energy and that was needed,” Monson said.
Sacramento State opened up an 11-5 lead thanks to 3-for-6 shooting from 3-point range, but LBSU adjusted and the Hornets finished 8-for-28 from behind the arc.
LBSU responded with a 17-6 run that was sparked by a pair of Jones 3-pointers and a boost from the bench including Thompson, Aboubacar Traore, Jason Hart Jr. and Varick Lewis. The Beach was up by as many as 13 points but Sacramento State closed the half on a run of its own and LBSU led 43-39 at halftime.
Brandon Betson (17 points), Zee Hamoda (15 points) and Duncan Powell (11 points) pushed Sacramento State to a 60-59 lead with 10 minutes to play, and then kept it close until the Beach closed the came on a 12-7 run over the last five minutes.
“I saw us scrapping more, we just battled,” Monson said. “If we can just gets stops and boards, offensively the team then goes and gets 21 assists and 8 turnovers… We’ve got to buy in on that as our identity.”
LBSU hosts Life Pacific on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before visiting USC on Sunday at 1 p.m.