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Long Beach State fought off a North Alabama charge early in the second half, then maintained a double-digit lead down the stretch for a 75-65 win over the Lions Saturday in men's basketball exhibition play at Walter Pyramid on the LBSU campus.
After trailing 44-31 at the break, UNA opened the second half on an 11-0 run. A three-point basket by Wes Long cut the deficit to 44-42 with 17:23 remaining, prompting a LBSC timeout. The 49ers, however, responded with a 16-4 run of their own to stretch the lead back to 14 points midway through the second half.
Long Beach State led by as many as 20 points in the second half before the Lions made one last surge. Trailing 71-51 at the 7:07 mark, UNA was able to cut the deficit in half in just under five minutes. A three-pointer by Bruce Adams made the score 73-63 with 2:23 remaining, but UNA could never get within single digits.
Both teams suffered from turnovers throughout the game. UNA committed 23 on the day while LBSU had 26 miscues. The 49ers also held a 48-37 advantage in rebounding.
North Alabama shot just 34.9 percent from the floor, including an 8-of-29 mark from three-point range. Rashaun Claiborne led the Lions with 17 points. Long connected on four three-pointers and finished with 13 points while Adams also reached double figures with 10 points. Lonnie Smith was the leading rebounder for UNA, grabbing 10 boards for the game.
UNA will open the regular season Monday against Fisk. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at Flowers Hall.