Slow Start Troubles Long Beach State At No. 5 North Carolina
Gabe Levin puts up the first double-double of the season for the Beach in the loss.
Chapel Hill, N.C. - North Carolina started the game on a 14-0 run that Long Beach State could never recover from in a 93-67 loss on the road to the No. 5 Tar Heels. Gabe Levin had the first double-double of the season for the Beach with a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to come here and play a little bit better early,” said head coach Dan Monson following the game. “I thought our guys fought to stay in it, but when you’re down 14-0 early, it’s just disappointing we didn’t start better.”
Long Beach State (1-2) continued the cold shooting of the team from the last game at Wichita State to start the contest, going eight minutes before the team’s first basket, and while the defense held for a while, ultimately North Carolina (3-0) was able to take advantage, starting the game up 14-0 before Levin broke the slump with a tip in just before eight minutes had passed.
Evan Payne and Roschon Prince helped Long Beach State jump start the offense just before the end of the half, but the Tar Heels pushed the lead out to 23 points at the break. The North Carolina push was mostly from the efforts of Joel Berry, who scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the first half.
The second half effort from Long Beach State was considerably better. Cutting what had grown to be a 27-point lead down to 16 with a dunk from Levin, Long Beach State forced a timeout from North Carolina, but the Tar Heels ran off a 15-2 run to pull away late.
The final tally for the second half would end up just three points in North Carolina’s favor, but the damage had been done early for the home favorites.
The Beach got a lift from freshman Jordan Griffin, who scored a career-high 11 points to join Levin in double-figures for the 49ers.
Long Beach State’s tough road continues with a game at No. 12 Louisville on Thursday. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. PT, and will be shown live once again on ESPN3.
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