Coming off a 90-58 blowout loss at Arizona State Monday, Friday night’s game against No. 17 Mississippi State will be another big challenge for Long Beach State men’s basketball. The 49ers (1-2) will face a tougher opponent this time around.
After competing for most of the game last week in a loss to No. 20 UCLA, Long Beach was unable to build on that momentum. This week’s matchup with the Bulldogs brings the team another opportunity to improve and gain experience against a ranked opponent.
Senior guard Deishuan Booker remains the leading scorer for Long Beach after struggling against Arizona State, putting up eight points and five assists. Booker is averaging 19.3 points and 3.3 assists per game, all team highs for the 49ers. Besides Booker, 49er players have been struggling to score and find an offensive rhythm. No other player on the roster is averaging more than seven points per game.
Another glaring stat for the 49ers is the extensive amount of turnovers they have committed so far. With 54 total, Long Beach is averaging 18 turnovers per game. Out of the 351 Division I schools in the NCAA, Long Beach is tied for 316th worst in that category.
Mississippi State (2-0) is led by two brothers, guards Quinndary and Nick Weatherspoon who are averaging 21.5 and 14.5 points per game respectively. The Bulldogs are coming off two wins over Austin Peay and Hartford. Mississippi State is coached by Ben Howland, former UCLA head coach from 2003 to 2013.
Tip-off between the 49ers and the Bulldogs is 6 p.m. at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, MS. After Friday’s match up, the 49ers will head to Las Vegas for the MGM Resorts Main Event and take on Iona College for a 2 p.m. game Monday.