The Long Beach State men’s basketball team has a knack for playing well at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara. After winning on a last second layup from senior guard Deishuan Booker last year, it was Booker who put the game out of reach at the free-throw line in the 49ers 69-64 win over UCSB Thursday night.
Booker led all scorers with 26 points while adding four assists and three rebounds. Sophomore guard Jordan Roberts and redshirt senior guard Bryan Alberts continued their offensive outbursts as of late, scoring 16 and 15 points, respectively. Alberts scored all of his points on three pointers, shooting 5-for-10 from distance.
“This is a resilient group,” assistant coach Senque Carey said via 22 West Radio. “We knew the first time we played them wasn’t our best effort, these guys really put their hard hats on [and got a win]. Santa Barbara is a good team and we matched their intensity.”
In the first half, Long Beach jumped out to a early 7-0 lead after a Booker three pointer and never looked back. The 49ers scored many baskets in the paint, attacking the Gauchos interior defense early on. In the first half, Long Beach shot 48 percent to UCSB’s 34. The 49ers led 34-25 at the break.
The second half was the Roberts and Booker show for Long Beach. Booker exploded for 17 while Roberts added 10 on the way to victory. The 49ers dominated the paint, scoring 36 total to the Gauchos 26. UCSB was led by 17 points from junior guard Max Heidegger.
“I was so proud of everyone who played tonight, the bench was big time and just did the little things that made big things happen,” Carey said.
Next up for Long Beach is a 7 p.m. home matchup Saturday against Cal Poly.
Alex Manfredi is a fourth year journalism major and has worked for the Daily 49er for nearly three years. He started as a sports writer, then Assistant Social Media Editor and is now Assistant Sports Editor after returning from studying abroad in the Spring 2018 semester. He has covered Long Beach city council meetings, men’s and women’s water polo and the men’s basketball beat at LBSU. After growing up and attending high school in Northern California, he came to Long Beach straight out of high school and has aspirations to earn his master’s degree in Sports Management and later work for a professional sports team. Alex is a Sacramento Kings fan, Oakland Athletics fan and New England Patriots fan (due to family ties, not bandwagoning).