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Long Beach State Loses Focus, Wins Final Exhibition, 87-78

The Long Beach State men’s basketball team closed its exhibition season by defeating Spalding America’s Team, 87-78, Saturday in front of 1,364 at the Pyramid.

That ends the good news for Long Beach, whose focus waned once its first-half lead swelled to 25 points.

The lead shrank to five points, 60-55, early in the second half and Coach Seth Greenberg’s mood changed just as quickly.

“We lost interest,” Greenberg said. “We got up [25] in the first six minutes and we just kind of stopped playing. It wasn’t due to their tremendous defensive intensity.”

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Long Beach led by six points, 67-61, with 9:41 left before pulling away behind guards James Cotton and Eric Brown. Cotton had 22 points and seven rebounds, and Brown scored 14 points with 10 rebounds.

Arizona, ranked 25th in the USA Today/CNN preseason poll, plays host to the 49ers on Wednesday in the Preseason NIT. Cotton guaranteed Saturday’s performance won’t be repeated.

“Oh, no, there won’t be any carryover,” Cotton said. “Everybody on the team has been waiting for this. This is the way we can earn our respect.”


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