Daily 49er

Despite two career-high’s LBSU falls to Southern Utah

Junior Bryan Alberts and senior Gabe Levin led the 49ers in the 94-89 loss.

Long+Beach+State+senior+forward+Gabe+Levin+dribbles+the+ball+in+the+paint+in+Sunday%27s+game+against+Stanford.
Long Beach State senior forward Gabe Levin dribbles the ball in the paint in Sunday's game against Stanford.

Long Beach State senior forward Gabe Levin dribbles the ball in the paint in Sunday's game against Stanford.

Christian Gonzales

Christian Gonzales

Long Beach State senior forward Gabe Levin dribbles the ball in the paint in Sunday's game against Stanford.

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The Utah elevation of 5,846 feet proved to be too much for the Long Beach State men’s basketball team Wednesday night. Another slow start haunted the 49ers, falling 94-89 to Southern Utah University.

The team was led by junior guard Bryan Alberts, who posted a career-high 25 points, and senior forward Gabe Levin, who also posted a career-high 24 points and six rebounds.

“I would give [Southern Utah] a lot of credit, they came out and played with a sense of urgency, and our guys didn’t match it in the first half, that was the most disappointing part,” assistant coach Senque Carey said on 22 West Radio.

Like many other games this season, the 49ers (4-7) started out slow, but began to pick up the pace late in the first half. With 7:20 left to play in the first frame, Long Beach went on a 5-0 run to bring the Thunderbirds lead down to 22-19.

The 49ers cut the deficit to as little as one point throughout the first half, but trailed 42-33 at the break. Southern Utah ended the half on a 14-7 run. Alberts was the only player to get things going offensively in the first, posting 10 points.

Turnovers ruined the 49ers’ chances as time ticked down at the end. After forcing a Southern Utah turnover with under a minute to play, sophomore guard Jordan Griffin committed a turnover on an attempted pass to junior forward Temidayo Yussuf with 23 seconds left.

After that point, a 49ers comeback fell out of possibility as they were forced to foul Southern Utah to stop the clock. The Thunderbirds hit their free throws and closed the game out with a five point win behind a game-high 26 points from guard Brandon Better.

Statistically, the 49ers did their part. The team shot 51 percent on field goals and only committed nine total turnovers, seven under its 16.7 turnover per game average. Bench points, rebounds and points in the paint were the biggest factors in the loss.

Next up for Long Beach is another road matchup at 7 p.m. Saturday at Pepperdine.

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