LONG BEACH, CA -- California State Los Angeles seemed to be no competition for the Long Beach State 49ers men's basketball team on this past Veteran's Day. Cal State LA wrapped up its exhibition schedule at Long Beach State on Friday night.
Evan Payne led his team with 15 points for Long Beach State (1-0), while teammates Gave Levin, Temidayo Yussuf, and Justin Bibbins all put up double figures. Bibbins came out with 12 points, six assists and a team-high seven rebounds to go with four steals. Levin added 11 points and five rebounds, while Yussuf had a total of 12 points for the night.
Within five minutes into the game, Long Beach State opened up a two-point lead, 9 to 7, on CSULA, which eventually became a 10-1 run capped by a layup from Jordan Griffin. This placed the 49ers in a position to take control of the game which resulted in a 19-8 lead with a little over ten minutes remaining in the half. Both teams were able to keep the scoring up until the halftime with Long Beach State having a 51-38 lead going into the locker room.
The Beach opened the second half with fast break offense and intense defense, holding the Golden Eagles to just 21 points in the second half. Long Beach State outscored them by 44 points in the latter half of the game, which led to Cal State LA falling to the 49ers, 95 to 59 in the Walter Pyramid.
Daylin Billingsley had 10 points and eight rebounds to lead the Golden Eagles, while Miles Ford had 10 points and four rebounds. Grant Arthur and DeSean Scott each had seven points. Cal State LA shot 31.1 percent from the floor (19-of-61) and made just 7-of-27 from 3-point range (25.9 percent). Long Beach State shot 48 percent (36-of-75) and made 6-of-20 from 3-point range. Cal State LA was 14-of-18 from the free-throw line, while Long Beach State was 17-of-24.
It was the regular season opener for Long Beach State, who is expected to win the Big West Conference this year. Cal State LA will begin its regular season at home on Sunday at 4 p.m. against Cal Lutheran, while Long Beach State embarks on a nine-game road trip starting Sunday when they face off against Wichita State. That game will start at 5 p.m. and aired on ESPN3.