Long Beach, Calif. - Neither team led by more than six points through 45 minutes of a battle in Davis, but after Long Beach State forced overtime, UC Davis pulled away in overtime to win 75-71 in the final road game of the season for the Beach.
Temidayo Yussuf finished with his first double-double of the season, scoring 13 points with a career high 14 rebounds, leading four Long Beach State (13-18, 8-7 Big West) players in double figures on the night. The two stars for UC Davis (18-11, 10-4 Big West) also had big nights, however, as Brynton Lemar led all scorers with 25 points and Chima Moneke finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Aggies.
The game featured 12 lead changes and 11 ties, as neither side could pull away from the other in a thrilling contest. The Aggies led for the majority of the first half, but only ever by a few baskets, as 3-point shooting helped keep the Beach close in the first. Loren Jackson scored 11 first-half points for the Beach, and LBSU went to the locker room down two 31-29.
Neither team would give an inch in the second half either. UC Davis opened up their largest lead of the game at 35-29 in the first two minutes of the second half, but Long Beach State started to get Yussuf going with his first basket. A Justin Bibbins 3-pointer pulled the Beach within one point, and Yussuf would continue to keep Long Beach State close, scoring all 13 of his points in the second half.
Down five at 46-41, Long Beach State went inside to Roschon Prince and Yussuf for two baskets, and then a back-door dunk from Bibbins to Barry Ogalue gave Long Beach State their first lead of the second half at 47-46 with just under 10 minutes to play.
Neither team would get more than a four-point lead the rest of the way, with Long Beach State taking their turn late with a Prince lay-in to grab a 62-58 lead with 2:20 remaining. A Lemar answer cut the lead to two however, and after a miss from Jackson, Darius Graham converted a three-point play to give the Aggies the lead.
A Graham 3-pointer would push the Aggie lead to four at 66-62 with 23 seconds left, but Long Beach State refused to give up. Bibbins was fouled on a quick push up the floor, making both free throws, and then the junior got a steal off of the next inbounds, finding Noah Blackwell who was fouled and tied the game with two free throws.
UC Davis went down the floor with a chance to win the game, but on review, a last-second tip-in from Moneke was waved off, and the teams headed to overtime.
The Aggies struck first in the extra five miinutes, getting a pair of Lemar free throws and a jumper from Moneke to take a 70-66 lead.
Blackwell hit a three to pull Long Beach State within one, but Lemar answered with a 3-pointer to once more make the Aggie lead four points. Prince hit two free throws to cut the lead to two at 73-71 with a minute left, but Blackwell's shot in the final possession for the Beach came up short, and UC Davis held on for the 75-71 win.
Bibbins finished the game with eight assists, moving the junior past Bobby Sears into 10th all-time in career assists at Long Beach State. The junior point guard now has 329 in his career.
Long Beach State finishes off the regular season back in Long Beach on Saturday, March 4 by hosting Hawai'i. The Beach will hold senior day, honoring their lone senior of 2016-17 in Anson Moye.
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