New Mexico's Demetrius Walker tries to protect the ball against Long… (Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images )
Portland, Ore. -- All that is missing is the black top.
Long Beach State and New Mexico played at a pace, and at times the efficiency, of a pick-up game during their NCAA tournament game at the Rose Garden on Thursday. All that was missing was five guys on the sideline calling, “Next.”
New Mexico’s late 10-3 spurt gave the Lobos a 33-29 halftime lead.
Both teams looked skittish to start the game. Long Beach turned the ball over on its first five possessions, then missed two shots on its sixth possession. New Mexico wasn’t any better.
Long Beach guard Casper Ware sank a three-pointer to break a scoreless tie three minutes into the game.
Long Beach had 12 turnovers in the first half and New Mexico 10.
Despite the sloppiness, there was entertainment value in the up-and-down play. The two teams swapped the lead seven times.
Long Beach’s James Ennis had a steal and dunk to give Long Beach a 26-23 lead with 4 minutes 10 seconds left in the half. Ware had seven points and four assists.
New Mexico’s Demetrius Walker had nine points, four on free throws late in the half.
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New Mexico leads Long Beach State, 33-29, at halftime