Dec. 3, 2015
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Fort Collins, Colo. - Nick Faust finished with a career-high 27 points, and A.J. Spencer added 14 points and nine rebounds as the seniors led the way to a big road win as Long Beach State dropped Colorado State 83-77 on the road.
Colorado State (5-2) shot 39 free throws, John Gillon scored 28 points while shooting 6-for-10 from behind the arc, and Gian Clevell added 20 points and 15 rebounds, but Long Beach State (4-4) followed the team's mantra and found a way to win. The loss marked the just the fourth loss at home for Colorado State to a non-conference opponent under Larry Eustachy.
"We've had a tough stretch here, so it was really big for us to hang on today and give us some confidence," said head coach Dan Monson. "That's what the preseason is for, is to believe that you can win games like this, and so it was a big win for us in that regard."
The Rams took the early momentum, holding the lead for the most of the first half after opening the game on a 12-7 run. A line change for the Beach helped turn things around, as the second unit came on after the first media timeout and cut the Rams lead to one.
Justin Bibbins tied the game with a jumper at 20-20, and Spencer buried a 3-pointer to put Long Beach State out in front for the first time with 9:09 left in the half.
Long Beach State closed out the half on a 10-3 run to build a lead. Bibbins hit a 3-pointer to start the run, and a Faust breakaway dunk kept the momentum rolling. With a chance to get the last shot, Spencer found Faust at the top of the key for three as LBSU went to the locker room on top 42-34.
A dunk by Gabe Levin and a trey from Travis Hammonds helped the Beach expand the lead to 11 right out of the gate, but Colorado State would bounce back. A three from Prentiss Nixon put Colorado State on top 50-49 as the clock ticked under 14 minutes.
The Beach absorbed the blow, as Faust knocked down two free throws to put Long Beach State back in the lead, and a three-point play from Hammonds expanded it.
Battling back and forth, Colorado State pulled within once more at 74-73, but Faust came up with a huge shot, knocking down a three to put Long Beach State up five with 2:26 to play.
Defense carried the day down the stretch, as Long Beach State kept Colorado State without a field goal over the final three minutes, and the Beach came up with an important road win.
In addition to Faust and Spencer, Hammonds and Levin each finished in double-digits with 14 and 11 points respectively, while Bibbins added eight points with seven assists on the night. Long Beach State as a whole distributed the ball well, making 18 assists with only seven turnovers.
Faust joined Ben Simmons of LSU, Kris Dunn of Providence, Ben Millaud-Meunier of St. Francis and Shaquille Harrison of Tulsa as the only players in the nation this year to fill up the stat sheet with at least 25 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals in a game.
Long Beach State's busy run of games continues on Saturday, as the 49ers return home to the Walter Pyramid to host New Mexico State at 4 p.m. The Beach will then head up the 405 to UCLA, playing at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday.