Men's Basketball, Men's Sports, Sports

LBSU faces struggling Cal Poly

The Long Beach State men’s basketball team will travel to San Luis Obispo on Thursday to look for redemption as it takes on the Cal Poly Mustangs.

The last time these two teams met, the Mustangs were able to top the 49ers 78-71 in a game where junior forward Temidayo Yussuf dropped 24 points and seven rebounds. Head coach Dan Monson believes that Yussuf and senior forward Gabe Levin are the go-to guys on the team, so it will be up to them to set the tone early on.

“We need to add on to the level of defense we’ve been able to play at and sustain it until the very end,” Monson said. “We can’t just start off well and then lose our intensity down the stretch.”

This is the first of two road games for the 49ers before they come back to the Walter Pyramid for a four-game homestand.

LBSU (10-12, 4-2 Big West) has not played its best on the road, but with Cal Poly (6-13, 1-4 Big West) struggling to win games, it is the perfect opportunity for Long Beach to gain some confidence outside of the Pyramid.

All week Monson has drilled defensive situations in order to increase the team’s overall awareness on the court. This included fast break, switching and rotation drills which Levin felt were helpful.

“We want to pride ourselves on our defense and it all starts with running drills in practice,” Levin said. “The offense will always come if we stay locked in on defense.”

In the Big West, the 49ers are currently in second place for points per game with 75.4, while also placing second in steals with 6.7 per game. The high pace play by the team ranked them third in assists with 13.6 per game.

LBSU has been able to adjust its lineups with junior guard Bryan Alberts being sidelined with injury, but when Alberts makes his return it will be another challenge for the team to overcome.

“We’re going in the right direction and adding Alberts is only going to make our ceiling higher,” Monson said.

Long Beach looks to redeem itself with a win on Thursday as it takes on Cal Poly at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

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