LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Casper Ware scored 20 points to pick up where he left off last season, and preseason Big Sky favorite Long Beach State held off Idaho 69-61 Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
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. Eugene Phelps scored 11, and T.J. Robinson had 10 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
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.