Men's Basketball, Men's Sports, Sports

LBSU cruises past Pepperdine

Defense led to offense in the Long Beach State men’s basketball team’s 78-71 win over Pepperdine Saturday night at Firestone Fieldhouse. Long Beach pushed past the Waves in a game that was decided by defensive stops, forcing 16 turnovers and turning them into 16 fast break points.

Junior guard Bryan Alberts continued to be a threat from deep, scoring 20 points on a career-high six three-pointers. Senior forward Gabe Levin handled the 49ers’ work down low, posting 16 points and six rebounds.

Both teams were in a steady back-and-forth battle throughout the first 10 minutes of the first half. With nine minutes to play in the first, head coach Dan Monson made a defensive change that helped Long Beach control the tempo for the night.

The 49ers (5-7) pressured Pepperdine with a 2-2-1 full-court press and forced the Waves into a frantic pace. Long Beach began to force turnovers and turned the game into a track meet, scoring transition buckets and simply out-hustling Pepperdine.

With 3:19 left in the half, Long Beach got out to a 33-26 lead. As the halftime break approached with under a minute to play, Pepperdine responded and finished on a 9-2 run, tying the game at 35.

Pepperdine threatened with a 9-0 run to make one final push, but it was matched by a 13-2 run by Long Beach with under eight minutes left. The score was never within six points for the rest of the night, leading to a 49ers victory.

Junior guard Deishuan Booker filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, six rebounds and six assists in 30 minutes of action. The transfer point guard currently leads all Big West players in assists with 5.9 per game.

Long Beach will have a week off before its next home game at 4 p.m. Saturday against Eastern Michigan.

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