Matthias Tass scored a career-best 22 points to lead No. 18 Saint Mary’s to a convincing 81-63 victory over visiting Long Beach State on Thursday night at Moraga, Calif.
Tommy Kuhse recorded a career-best 20 points and a season-high eight assists for the Gaels (2-1). Kuhse was 8-of-10 shooting and made all four 3-point attempts while helping Saint Mary’s bounce back from Monday’s disappointing 61-59 loss to Winthrop.
Gaels star Jordan Ford scored just 10 points after averaging 24 over the first two games.
Colin Slater scored 14 points for Long Beach State (1-3), which lost its second straight contest. Chance Hunter added 13 points for the Beach.
Saint Mary’s shot 56.4 percent from the field and was a torrid 12 of 20 from 3-point range. The Gaels had a 33-25 rebounding edge.
Long Beach State shot 44.2 percent from the floor and was 5 of 14 from behind the arc.
Saint Mary’s led by 10 early in the second half before doubling the margin with a 12-2 push. All of the baskets came on 3-pointers with Ford and Tanner Krebs each making one and Kuhse finishing the run with consecutive treys to make it 55-35 with 15:13 left.
Kuhse connected on another 3-pointer to make it 62-40 with 12:59 left.
A jumper by Ford gave the Gaels its largest lead — 24 points — at 72-48 with 6:57 remaining.
The Beach scored the next 10 points to trim their deficit to 14 before Tass made a layup for Saint Mary’s first points in 4:11.
Long Beach State’s smallest deficit in the final minutes was 13.
Tass scored 14 points and Saint Mary’s shot 58.6 percent from the field in the first half en route to a 41-31 lead at the break.
Long Beach State held an early five-point lead before the Gaels used a 13-4 run to move into the lead for good. Malik Fitts and Ford capped the burst with consecutive 3-pointers to give Saint Mary’s a 17-13 advantage with 12:15 remaining.
The lead reached 10 for the first time when Tass scored on a dunk to make it 28-18 with 7:47 left.
—Field Level Media