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Basketball Long Beach State

Long Beach State Men’s Basketball Going To Big West Semifinals

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State athletics for the 2022-23 season is sponsored by Marilyn Bohl.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State Basketball is sponsored by CSULB Distinguished Alumnus Nelson Farris.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State men’s basketball for the 2023-24 season is sponsored by Arline & Mike Walter.

Aboubacar Traore made history for Long Beach State on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Hercules Tires Big West Basketball Championships in Henderson, Nevada.

Traore recorded the first triple double in tournament history with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in a 86-67 win over UC Riverside. It’s also the second in program history after Tyrone Mitchell’s in 1990. 

“For me it was just taking stuff play by play,” Traore said on the ESPN broadcast postgame. “I had a good meeting with (coach Dan Monson before the game) and he was telling me how he trusts me. He said ‘I want you to be more aggressive,’ so that was what was going through my mind.”

The Ivory Coast native had to sit with foul trouble in the first half, but Traore sparked the game-winning run halfway through the second half.

“He was first team (All-Big West) for a reason, he’s just super valuable,” Monson said of Traore. “When we lost him in the first half with two fouls, I just can’t play him with fouls because he’s so aggressive. It takes away some of his game. But then when (Tsohonis) got his fourth (foul) he took the game over at that point. I think that’s where his position is going to be when he goes from Long Beach State to professional leagues.”

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LBSU hasn’t been consistent defensively this season but turned up the heat in the second half. UC Riverside didn’t have a made field goal in the last eight minutes of the game. The Highlanders only scored 25 points in the second half.

“The mindset was there all day today and we wore them down a little bit, we had them out of rhythm,” Monson said. “Our guys really locked in with the game plan. Even in the first half when we struggled with it we stayed with it. In games past we wanted it too much and tried to go off on our own, but I thought we were really connected today. I’m just happy for them. They played like a good basketball team.”


The victory sends LBSU to the semifinals where No. 1 seed UC Irvine is waiting after beating the Beach twice this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

“In the locker room we were ready and we were expecting this game tomorrow,” A. Traore said.

Monson dismissed any notion the team had his impending departure on the mind.

“It didn’t have anything to do with that, this team has had character all year, it’s a great group and they wanted to win for the right reasons. They wanted to win for each other,” he said.

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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.