What appeared to be an empty, quiet Walter Pyramid quickly turned into a crowd of 2,415 on Tuesday night as the Long Beach State men’s basketball team hosted San Francisco State. Thanks to an impressive shooting night from several players, Long Beach came out on top 95-70 win.
After a tough road win last week at the University of San Francisco, LBSU (2-0) came out slow to open up the game against the Division II opponent.
“I didn’t think defensively we were as intense as we were on Saturday,” head coach Dan Monson said.
The Gators opened up in a zone defense, and it took a few minutes for Long Beach to attack the paint. After five minutes in the game, things started clicking for the 49ers offense. The team started pushing the ball up the court and converting in transition.
With 11:43 left in the first half, Long Beach got in a rhythm and extended its lead to 21-12 over the Gators. Once Monson put in the team’s second unit, the 49ers began to struggle on offense.
San Francisco went on a 7-0 run after two consecutive turnovers from sophomore guard Jordan Griffin and sophomore forward Javonntie Jackson. After another quick sub, freshman guard Jordan Roberts, who has been sidelined with a toe injury, made his collegiate debut.
Roberts came out aggressive right away, posting four quick points in his first five minutes of action. The freshman finished off the night with eight points in 12 minutes.
Both teams exchanged three-pointers midway through the first half, which turned into a competition from beyond the arc the rest of the night. With six minutes left until halftime, Long Beach extended its lead to six points with the starters back in the game for a change of pace. Senior forward Barry Ogalue provided a spark late in the half with consecutive scores in transition.
From that point on, Long Beach never looked back, taking a 10-point lead into the halftime break. The 49ers held their opponent to 38 percent shooting and 20 percent from deep in the first half.
Long Beach came out of the halftime break with a spark, going on a 12-4 run and flashing signs that the game could end up being a blowout. Senior forward Gabe Levin set the tone in the beginning of the second half, converting on an and-one play that appeared to take away all hope for San Francisco.
The three point shootout between the 49ers and the Gators continued throughout, as both teams put up shots from deep nearly every possession. Junior guard Bryan Alberts was efficient from the three-point line from the minute he stepped onto the floor, scoring all 18 of his points from deep.
“Bryan Alberts is a good player, he’s gonna get better and better as he gets comfortable and understands his role,” Monson said. “It was good to see [him] get in an offensive rhythm.”
Throughout the remaining 10 minutes of the game, the impressive shooting from Long Beach continued until the game went final. Junior guard Deishuan Booker showcased his pass-first point guard play, dishing out 10 assists to go along with five rebounds and two points on the night.
“Scoring will come down the line of the offense,” Booker said. “I really just wanted to focus on kicking it ahead and rebounding, so it’s what I put an emphasis on today.”
After the game, Monson was pleased with his team’s shooting and assist totals, but was focused more on the defensive side of things.
“Giving up 70 points was disappointing,” Monson said. “This is a new team, we’ve got a long ways to go but they are going in the right direction so I’m happy [about that], just not happy with where we’re at.”
Long Beach will now head back on the road for six straight games, the team’s longest stretch this year. The 49ers begin the nationwide trek at Oregon State on Saturday night at 8 p.m.