Casper Ware scored 20 points to pick up where he left off last season, and preseason Big West favorite Long Beach State held off Idaho 69-61 Saturday in the season opener for both teams at Long Beach, Calif.
Ware, a senior, led the 49ers in scoring (17.2 points per game), assists and steals last season.
Larry Andersen added 16 points, including three 3-pointers, and seven assists for the 49ers.
Deremy Geiger and Djim Bandoumel led the Vandals with 13 points apiece. Kyle Barone had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Idaho led 29-27 at halftime, but Long Beach State went on an 8-0 run to take a 43-35 lead with 14:23 left.
The Vandals got within two, 61-59, with 4:06 to play before a Phelps jumper and a Ware 3-pointer helped put the game out of reach.
“We played hard enough to win tonight,” Idaho head coach Don Verlin said. “I was very disappointed in our execution down the stretch. We just didn’t make the plays that we needed to down the stretch.
“We’ve got to play that hard every night, but we’ve got to clear up some of those executional things, or it’s going to be a long year.”
Washington 91, Georgia State 74: C.J. Wilcox scored 22 points to lead Washington to a season-opening 91-74 victory over Georgia State in the World Vision Classic at Seattle.
Wilcox, a redshirt sophomore, opened the second half with two 3-pointers in the first three Washington possessions. His second swelled the lead to 54-36.
After spending last season as a 3-point specialist, Wilcox contributed six rebounds in addition to making five 3-pointers. He finished 8 for 12 from the field and 5 for 8 from behind the 3-point line.
Washington took control in the second half after leading by 10 at halftime. The lead rose to 61-41 when Aziz N’Diaye scored in the post with a left-handed hook off the glass. Wilcox’s lay-in increased the lead to 70-44.
Freshman guard Tony Wroten finished with 18 points, seven assists and three rebounds.
NIC 107, Phoenix 78: Seven Cardinals scored in double figures as North Idaho College ran past Phoenix College on the final day of the College of Southern Idaho tournament in Twin Falls.
Michael Middlebrooks led the way with a game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds for North Idaho (3-0).