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No. 23 ranked Mountaineers too much for LBSU

Senior forward Gabe Levin and junior guard Bryan Alberts tie career highs in the loss.

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What started out as a close game for the majority of the first half turned into a rough second half for the Long Beach State men’s basketball team Monday night in a 91-62 loss to No. 22 West Virginia.

LBSU (2-2) got off to a hot start, taking a 9-3 lead behind senior forward Gabe Levin, who scored Long Beach’s first seven points. West Virginia (3-1) would quickly come back and tie the game at 9-9 after a pair of threes in response.

The game would continue to be close for a majority of the first half. Long Beach head coach Dan Monson explored all types of defenses to try and put pressure on West Virginia. The 49ers were seen in a full court press, a 1-2-2 zone and a 2-3 zone to try and counter a potent West Virginia offense led by Lamont West (22 points) and Konate Sagaba (20 points).

The Mountaineers responded with an 15-5 run over the next six minutes of the half and soon finished on a 10-1 run to extend their lead to 17 heading into halftime. The deficit heading into the break proved to be too much for Long Beach for the rest of the way, as it would never break within 15 points of West Virginia.

Levin tied a career-high with 23 points on the night and also added a team high 11 rebounds. The senior leader has had no problem putting up big numbers against top opponents throughout his career as a 49er.

Junior guard Bryan Alberts also tied his career-high, posting 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Alberts is becoming a consistent threat from deep for Long Beach, putting a lot of pressure on opposing defenses so far this season.

The Mountaineers defense stymied senior forward Barry Ogalue, who had averaged 17 points per game, only allowing him two points from the free-throw line on 0-of-6 from the field.

 

For the second time in three games, Long Beach committed more than 20 turnovers. Also, Long Beach only had two points from its bench compared to 27 from West Virginia. The 49ers bench play and turnover rate will need to improve in order to compete in the rest of non-conference play and heading into the Big West Conference.

The game was a non-bracketed matchup as part of the upcoming eight-team Advocare Invitational Tournament on Thursday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida.

LBSU will play three games in the tournament, starting with Missouri on Thanksgiving morning at 8:30 a.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

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