Men's Basketball, Men's Sports, Sports

Gabe Levin’s career night disappears in thrilling double OT loss to UC Davis

Gabe Levin did something that hasn’t been seen in the Long Beach State men’s basketball program in 47 years. The senior forward scored 45 points, matching the school scoring record set by Ed Ratliff against St. Mary’s Dec. 10, 1970.

However, Long Beach (12-14, 6-4 Big West) lost 105-104 to UC Davis in a double overtime thriller at the Walter Pyramid. It was Aggies’ junior guard TJ Shorts II who decided to call the game and give Levin and the rest of the Long Beach team a heartbreaking loss.

“It wasn’t enough,” Levin said. “We came away with the loss, and none of that matters.”

Shorts II dribbled the ball from half court and pulled up behind the arc, sinking a one-legged 3-pointer for the final shot. The crowd was stunned and with two seconds left Long Beach junior guard Deishuan Booker heaved a final desperation shot from halfcourt that missed.

“It was gametime,” Shorts II said on the final shot of the game. “We knew going into another overtime would be tough.”

Long Beach had the opportunity to close out the game in regulation with the final possession. With 24 seconds left it seemed that head coach Dan Monson’s play broke down as KJ Byers postmove didn’t fall down in the final seconds.

“That’s a hard one to take,” Monson said. “A great player made a great play at the end.”

UC Davis (16-7, 7-2 Big West) earned easy points inside the paint from Shorts II’s aggressiveness throughout the game. The Aggies had 56 points inside the paint compared to the 49ers 34.

Levin shot 10 for 20 from the floor and 24 for 28 from the free-throw line. Levin’s previous career-high was 29 points against Cal State Northridge last month.

“I’m not a big points guy or stats guy,” Levin said. “I just want to win.”

UC Davis was without its best player in senior forward Chima Moneke. The team announced an hour before tipoff via Twitter that Moneke had been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules that govern conduct at the team’s hotel. UC Davis University officials are in the process of reviewing the situation.

“They’re without their arguably best player today and come in here and score 105 on us,” Monson said. “That’s unacceptable. We’ve got to get fundamentally better, and the good news is we have a week without a game. We’ll have three or four practices to shore some things up and not feel sorry for ourselves.”

Long Beach will play its next game 8 p.m. Saturday against Cal Poly at the Walter Pyramid.

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