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    Long Beach State uses dominant start to beat Hawaii
    • January 19, 2024

    LONG BEACH — A near-perfect first half was more than enough for the Long Beach State men’s basketball team on Thursday night.

    LBSU shot 75% from the field with 14 assists and just one turnover before halftime while producing a defensive effort to match the explosive offense in a 79-71 victory over Hawaii at the Walter Pyramid.

    The teams traded baskets in the early minutes of the game, then Long Beach (12-7 overall, 4-3 Big West) broke the game open with an 11-0 run sparked by an AJ George basket and a Jadon Jones 3-pointer.

    Sizzling shooting (18 for 24 from the field) helped Long Beach run away from the visitors. LBSU led by as much as 21 points in the first half, while holding the Warriors to 32.3% shooting (10 for 31) and just 22 points until the final minute of the half.

    Hawaii (10-8, 2-4) got a bit of a lift in the second half, going 11 for 14 from the free-throw line in the final 20 minutes to cut into the Long Beach lead, but the Warriors never truly threatened and trailed by double digits until the final minute.

    Marcus Tsohonis had 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting to pace Long Beach, while Jones scored 19, going 8 for 8 from the field and making a trio of 3-pointers to pass Mike Caffey for fifth on LBSU’s career list (178). He added four steals. Lassina Traore had 13 points and six rebounds, and Aboubacar Traore (no relation) added 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

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    Justin McKoy had 22 points to lead Hawaii. Juan Munoz added 12 points and Bernardo da Silva had 11.

    Long Beach gets its first bye of the conference season this weekend, then hosts first-place UC Irvine next Thursday (Jan. 25) at 7 p.m.

    ​ Orange County Register