Booker's Career-High 20 Points, Buzzer Beater Lead LBSU To 70-69 Win At UCSB
Deishuan Booker, Gabe Levin both scored 20 points in the win.
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Deishuan Booker's full-court run led to a layup to beat the buzzer as Long Beach State picked up a huge win on the road at UC Santa Barbara, 70-69.
UC Santa Barbara (21-8, 10-5 Big West) took their first lead of the second half with 6.8 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws from Gabe Vincent the last of his career-high 28. The Beach found Booker on the inbounds, and the junior weaved his way to the basket on the way to the game-winner, closing out an important win for Long Beach State (14-17, 8-7 Big West).
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The basket gave Booker a career-best 20 points, closing out a big night for the junior who also had five rebounds, four assists and two steals. He shared the scoring lead with Gabe Levin, who reached the 20-point threshold for the 11th time this season. Temidayo Yussuf also tied a career-high with 15 rebounds.
Ten of those rebounds came in the first half for Yussuf, as Long Beach State slowly built their lead. Down one at 21-20, the Beach went on an 11-3 run capped by a jumper from Booker to take a seven-point lead, and were up by as many as 11 in the first half. The 49ers went into the locker room up eight at 40-32.
A 3-pointer from Gabe Levin kept that edge through the first ten minutes of the second half, lifting the Beach in front 58-50, and eight points was still the LBSU lead at 64-56 when the Gauchos made their charge.
Levin made a pair of key baskets to help keep the Long Beach State lead, but a three from Gabe Vincent cut the lead to one at 68-67. The Gauchos got the ball back with 14 seconds and a chance to take the lead, which they did when Vincent was fouled on a drive to the lane, sending the senior to the line.
Keys to the win included a 38-24 edge in points in the paint towards Long Beach State, and a solid defensive job on Gauchos' leading scorer Max Heidegger, who came in as one of the top five scorers in the Big West but was held to three points Thursday night.
The win was also the 1,000th win in Long Beach State Men's Basketball history, dating back to the first season of Beach Basketball in 1950-51.
The Beach closes out the regular season this Saturday, hosting UC Riverside in the Walter Pyramid at 7:30 p.m. Prior to the game, Long Beach State will honor their three seniors -- Gabe Levin, Barry Ogalue and Quentin Shropshire.
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