Fullerton No Match for 49ers
It was a fairly simple formula for success. Long Beach State played solid defense, shot well and took full advantage of a Cal State Fullerton scoring collapse early in the second half.
That was enough to carry the 49ers to a 79-70 Big West victory before 1,547 in Titan Gym.
The Titans missed 12 consecutive shots during their drought, and Long Beach went on an 18-3 scoring tear, paving the way for the victory after two losses.
Long Beach (8-6) moved up to 4-3 in the Big West. Fullerton (6-11) is 4-5 in the conference.
“I felt that was (our) best execution of zone offense since the beginning of the season,” Long Beach Coach Seth Greenberg said.
The 49ers shot 54.5%, 57% in the second half, and had a 47-31 rebounding advantage against a Fullerton team playing its second game in a row without its tallest starter, 6-foot-9 forward David Frigout, who is out with flu.
Joe McNaull, Long Beach’s 6-10 center, had 16 points and 16 rebounds, 13 of them defensive. Reserves Tye Mays (13 points) and Eric Brown (12) also scored in double figures.
Fullerton center Winston Peterson had 21 points, but seven of those came at the free-throw line and he was seven of 20 from the floor. Chris Dade had 17 points, but the other Titan guards struggled.
James French, who has had a hot hand lately, had an off night, going three for 15 from the field.
“I thought we did a good job on Peterson,” Greenberg said. “You don’t stop him, you just slow him down.”