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Second-Half Effort Lifts Long Beach

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Confoundedly bad in the first half and exceptionally good in the second, Long Beach State routed hapless San Jose State, 62-44, Saturday night in a Big West Conference game before 3,389 at the Pyramid.

The 49ers led, 27-25, at halftime over the last-place Spartans (1-11, 0-4 in the Big West). But they found their game at the break, using an 18-2 run at the start of the second half to put away San Jose.

Swingman Jamie Davis and point guard Rasul Salahuddin were the catalysts for Long Beach (6-4, 2-1). Davis scored eight of his game-high 20 points and Salahuddin had four points and created havoc for the Spartans’ offense with his defense during the game-breaking run. The conference’s leader in steals, Salahuddin had a career-high seven steals and eight points and five assists.

“Rasul got us jump-started by pushing the ball up the floor and getting us some easy shots,” 49er Coach Seth Greenberg said. “Jamie got us going by making some shots.”

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Greenberg was also pleased with his team’s defensive effort.

San Jose scored the fewest points against a Long Beach team since the 1981-82 season, when the 49ers defeated Fresno State, 45-42. The 49ers limited San Jose to 24% shooting from the field (nine of 37) and the Spartans committed 28 turnovers.

No Spartan scored in double figures. Three players tied for the team lead in scoring with eight points each.

Despite foul problems, 49er center Joe McNaull played well for the second consecutive game. He had nine points and 11 rebounds.

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