Daily 49er

Long Beach State dealing with LAG time just fine

Men’s basketball win streak opens new scoring options.

Matthew Simon, Sports Editor

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When junior forward Gabe Levin went down with a season-ending knee injury on New Year’s Eve, things appeared to go from bad to worse for the Long Beach State men’s basketball team.


The injury piled onto the 49ers’ early season woes, where the team, facing one of the toughest schedules in the country, kept losing to some of the top-ranked teams in the nation — and badly.


But after starting Big West play 1-3, something changed for LBSU as they faced what head coach Dan Monson calls “life after Gabe” (LAG) time.


Since the loss of Levin, LBSU has turned things around with its next man up mentality — which has led to the team winning three straight games to move the team to fourth place in the Big West behind UC Davis, UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge.


The team has gotten a lift in each game as the 49ers redefined their identity, which players have been searching for all season.


Whether it was sophomore forward Temidayo Yussuf’s 25-point performance against UC Santa Barbara or junior forward Roschon Prince’s 25-point, 11-rebound outing against Cal Poly, or junior guard Justin Bibbins’ 26-point game against Cal state Fullerton — LBSU has handled the loss of Levin by #winning.


Now, only two games out of first place in the Big West and facing two of the three teams in front of them this week, the 49ers have a chance to be the team that was selected as the media’s preseason favorite to win the conference.


With Yussuf and Prince continuing to get better every game and LBSU getting stellar guard play from Bibbins, freshman Loren Jackson and junior Evan Payne — the 49ers now face the biggest question of their season, can they win on the road?
LBSU’s current win-streak will be put to the test when it travels to CSUN to take on the Matadors Wednesday at 7 p.m. which will be televised on ESPN 3.

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