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LBSU shows resiliency in loss to San Diego State

The 49ers erase a double-digit deficit, but lose in a close finish to the Aztecs inside the Pyramid.

Senior+guard+Nick+Faust+%282%29+throws+down+a+dunk+in+LBSU%E2%80%99s+76-72+loss+to+San+Diego+State+inside+the+Walter+Pyramid+on+Tuesday.+
Senior guard Nick Faust (2) throws down a dunk in LBSU’s 76-72 loss to San Diego State inside the Walter Pyramid on Tuesday.

Senior guard Nick Faust (2) throws down a dunk in LBSU’s 76-72 loss to San Diego State inside the Walter Pyramid on Tuesday.

Bobby Yagake | Daily 49er

Bobby Yagake | Daily 49er

Senior guard Nick Faust (2) throws down a dunk in LBSU’s 76-72 loss to San Diego State inside the Walter Pyramid on Tuesday.

Josh Caudill, Staff Writer

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It was an intense battle between two Southern California rivals Tuesday night as San Diego State held on to defeat the Long Beach State men’s basketball team, 76-72, sending the 49ers to their fourth consecutive loss.

The 49ers (3-4) made a valiant comeback, erasing a 13-point first-half deficit but ultimately fell short after San Diego State (5-3) found the hot hand in Trey Kell. The sophomore guard led the Aztecs in scoring; gaining all 13 of his points in the second half, which included four three-pointers.

“We don’t have time to worry about our spirits. We need to worry about getting better,” LBSU head coach Dan Monson said. “We knew we weren’t going to go undefeated with this schedule but we are panicked about is we have to learn from the losses.”

LBSU struggled early, only hitting two of their first 11 shots while the Aztecs hit 13 of their first 27 shots from the field, including five three-pointers. The Aztecs lead was as large as 13 at one point in part due to walk-on freshman Ben Perez. The guard was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, which included two back-to-back three-pointers and a momentum building dunk that put SDSU in the driver’s seat with a 40-27 lead late in the first half.

“It was an incredible feeling,” Perez said. “I had a couple of slow games but it just felt good to get out there and get back to how I know I can shoot and how I know I can play. I got to credit all that to my teammates getting me open. Now we got to get ready to go back to work.”

A Nick Faust three-pointer in the closing seconds of the first half made it 40-32 and gave the 49ers some much needed momentum heading into the locker room.

It was a tale of two halves as San Diego State was held to only one field goal within the first 10 minutes of the second half and LBSU started to chip away at the Aztecs’ lead.

The Walter Pyramid crowd came alive after a Noah Blackwell three-pointer and a Faust dunk cut the deficit to 46-45 with a little over 13 minutes left in the game. Faust began to show why he was a member of the All-ACC freshmen team by leading the team in scoring, and he finished with a season high of 20 points on the night.

Sophomore guard Justin Bibbins’ three-pointer gave LBSU its first lead of the game 50-48 with 9:16 left in the game but the excitement was short lived.

The momentum began to shift back toward SDSU after Faust received a technical foul in a critical moment where the game was tied. After the two teams traded three-pointers, the Aztecs started to pull away again when Kell and Dakari Allen scored back-to-back three-pointers to push the Aztec lead to 8 with a little over 4 minutes to go in the game.

The 49ers would never get over the hump. After a series of missed shots and turnovers, San Diego State made sure there would be no comeback victory in the cards for LBSU.

“I think we have to come out way stronger in the beginning of the game,” 49ers forward Gabe Levin said. “We can’t be down that much and have to fight all the way back to take the lead. It takes a lot of energy out of you.”

Monson was visibly frustrated with Tuesday night’s outcome as his team has now dropped three consecutive close games, where LBSU was a couple of mistakes away from being on the other side of the win-loss column.

“We got to trust each other and do our jobs and stay together,” Monson said. “And I think we showed in stretches that we can have a good basketball team.”

LBSU travels to Fort Collins, Colorado to take on Colorado State on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 6:00 p.m. local time.

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1 Comment

One Response to “LBSU shows resiliency in loss to San Diego State”

  1. Benjue on December 2nd, 2015 8:35 pm

    Nice article

    [Reply]

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