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Men's Basketball: Long Beach drops 72-64 non-conference game to West LA

Ahmad Malone led LBCC with 15 points in the loss to West LA. (File photo by John Fajardo)
Ahmad Malone led LBCC with 15 points in the loss to West LA. (File photo by John Fajardo)

Playing without standouts Chris Camper (Poly HS) and Jeremiah Blandin (Poly HS), the Long Beach City College men's basketball team suffered a 72-64 loss to visiting West Los Angeles College on Friday night at the LBCC Hall of Champions Gym.

The non-conference loss dropped Long Beach to 6-3 overall this season.

LBCC had four players score in double figures, getting a team-high 15 points from Ahmad Malone (Chicago, IL). Breamon Richard (University HS) scored 14 points, Mena Saad (West Torrance HS) added 11 points, while Justin Richardson (Firebaugh HS) posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Vikings led early and were up 14-8 after a jumper by Saad at the 12:55 mark in the first half. The squads exchanged leads in the opening period before West LA went into the locker room with a 33-31 halftime lead.

In the second, West LA pulled away for good. Richard's jumper at 18:08 mark tied up the contest at 35. And that was as close as the Vikings would get for the remainder of the game. An 8-0 run by the Wildcats turned a narrow 50-46 lead into a 12-point West LA advantage.

LBCC rallied late to make things interesting. Malone nailed a three-pointer with 1:41 to play to get the Vikings within three at 64-61.But Darryl Matthews made a tough shot underneath and buried a three-pointer with 28 seconds left to seal the victory for West LA.

Matthews scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds for West LA (6-4).

Long Beach returns to action next weekend (Dec. 17-19) when the Vikings will compete at the Saddleback College Bill Brummel Classic tournament. LBCC opens tourney play on Thursday vs. host Saddleback at 7 p.m.