Long Beach State’s big three came through in a big way on Wednesday night, as Temidayo Yussuf had 15 points, Deishuan Booker added a career-high 19 points and senior Gabe Levin led the way with a career-high 29 points as the Beach held off CSUN 80-70 to run their home winning streak to three games.
The game got off to a sluggish start, but with CSUN (3-13, 0-2 Big West) leading 19-11 after ten minutes Long Beach State (8-11, 2-1 Big West) exploded on a game-changing 21-4 run over the next five, opening up a nine-point lead that would hold all the way to the half with the Beach leading 38-29.
The Beach would continue to feed the big guys in the second half, scoring 18 more points in the paint, but most importantly, the determined inside presence for LBSU would get the Beach to the line. In the second half, LBSU was a perfect 19-for-19 from the line, playing a key role in holding off a pesky Matador side.
CSUN stayed close primarily from a career night from freshman Terrell Gomez, who scored 24 points including six threes to keep the Matadors within striking distance, although Long Beach State never trailed in the second half.
With 13 minutes to play, Long Beach State led by 12, but a cold stretch for the Beach allowed the Matadors to close in, and CSUN got the closest they would get in the second half at 58-55 on a three from Jalon Pipkins. Slowly but surely, Long Beach State pulled away and again pulled out two a double-digit lead, which they would ultimately maintain in an 80-70 victory.
Long Beach State will be on the road for the team’s next two Big West games, beginning this Saturday at 6 p.m. when the Beach travels to UC Riverside.