Late Charge Not Enough For Long Beach State In 80-70 Loss To UC Santa Barbara
Senior Gabe Levin scored 25 points with 14 rebounds and three blocks in the loss.
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State outscored the Gauchos by ten points in the second half, led by 25 points from senior Gabe Levin and a career-high 20 from freshman Edon Maxhuni, but the Beach was unable to overcome a slow start in an 80-70 defeat Thursday night.
Down 37-17 at the break after an ice cold start to the game, Long Beach State (13-15, 7-5 Big West) rallied to pull to within six points in the final minute at 74-68, but ultimately came up short to fall at home to the league leaders UC Santa Barbara (20-5, 9-2 Big West)
Still down 20 points as the teams moved past the 12-minute mark in the second half, Long Beach State would start to chip away. A putback from KJ Byers and a breakaway layup gave the Beach back-to-back baskets, and then a three from Maxhuni cut the lead to 15 points at 62-47.
Slowly the lead continued to shrink, as Levin's 25th point pulled the Beach to within 11 at 73-62, and a pair of Booker free throws cut the lead to 10 points with 2:23 left in the game. A jumper from Maxhuni and a coast-to-coast layup from Deishuan Booker cut the lead to six, but Gabe Vincent hit a pair of free throws to stop the 6-0 LBSU run, and press break sealed the win for the Gauchos.
Levin finished with a second-straight double-double, scoring 25 points with 14 rebounds and three blocks, while Maxhuni scored all 20 of his points in the second half, and became the first freshman since Travis Hammonds in 2013-14 to have a 20-point scoring game for LBSU. KJ Byers and Deishuan Booker each finished with eight points.
Long Beach State shot just over 17 percent in the first half and was 0-for-14 from three to lead to the halftime deficit, as Leland King II led the Gauchos with 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Levin's 25 points on Thursday night leaves the senior just four points shy of becoming the second transfer and the 24th player in school history to score 1,000 career points at Long Beach State. Levin also needs just 11 rebounds to hit 500 for his career. Only 11 other players at the Beach have hit both milestones.
Long Beach State will have Saturday off on a bye and return to action on the road on Thursday, February 22 at Hawai'i. Tip time is scheduled for 9 p.m. PT.
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