Marcus Tsohonis scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half as Long Beach State held off a second-half charge from DePaul to earn a 77-73 victory on Saturday night in Chicago.
Lassina Traore had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Aboubacar Traore added 12 points and pulled down nine boards for the Beach (1-1), who led by as many as 22 points in the first half.
However, Elijah Fisher scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half for DePaul (0-2), which got within 74-73 on K.T. Raimey’s second straight 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining.
But LBSU’s Jadon Jones hit two free throws and Jeremiah Oden (13 points) missed a trey for the Blue Demons, who shot 58.8 percent in the second half while scoring 52 points.
DePaul trailed 43-24 early in the second half, when it used a 23-8 surge, which included seven points from Chico Carter Jr. and four from Frisher, to get within 51-47. Tsohonis scored the next five points, but the Blue Demons soon got within three again thanks to five consecutive points from Fisher.
But Tsohonis stepped up again by making two free throws, then knocking down a 3-pointer with 4:55 left to give the Beach a 63-55 lead. DePaul continued to hang around before falling short.
Oden opened the game with a 3-pointer, then Long Beach State scored the next eight points. The Beach took control when they held the Blue Demons scoreless for nearly six minutes, allowing the visitors to go up 33-11 with 6:11 to go in the first half.
DePaul closed the first half on a 10-4 run to go into the break trailing 37-21 after making just six of its 25 shots through the first 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Long Beach State owned a 26-8 advantage in points in the paint in the first half.
Aboubacar Traore scored four of the first six second-half points for the Beach, who increased their lead to 19. However, that’s when the Blue Demons finally found their form.
–Field Level Media