Andre Purry and Morlon Wiley each scored 25 points to help make Joe Harrington's debut as Cal State Long Beach basketball coach a success Friday night.
Harrington's philosophy of pressure defense also was a factor as the 49ers beat Division II Cal Poly Pomona, 94-70, in a nonconference game before a crowd of 1,455 in the Long Beach gym.
"Our press was definitely good at times," said Harrington, who came to Long Beach last spring from George Mason University.
Pomona Coach Dave Bollwinkel conceded as much. "They do a good job with it and they have a lot of good athletes--that's the difference between Division I and Division II," Bollwinkel said.
The press was largely responsible for 35 Pomona turnovers.
Purry, a junior forward, also had 12 rebounds to go with his career-high point total and Wiley, a senior guard, had 8 assists. The performances by the former Long Beach Poly High School stars didn't surprise Harrington.
"They worked the hardest of any two kids we had here over the summer," Harrington said.
The 49ers came out in the second half and quickly enlarged a 39-33 lead to 53-35.
After a three-point shot by Wiley with 12 minutes left, the 49ers were ahead, 66-48, but a Pomona surge cut the lead to 69-61.
But Wiley then directed a loose ball to Rudy Harvey for a dunk, Rigo Moore hit a three-pointer, Purry scored from the lane and DeAnthony Langston dunked to complete a flurry that put the Broncos away for good.
The 49ers, who play at Arizona next Friday night, were a little too aggressive at times. They sent Pomona (2-1) to the foul line 44 times and the Broncos made 31 of those free shots.
But Pomona, which was led by center Tony Theisen's 14 points and Forrest Barnes' 12, hit only 24% from the field in the second half.