Long Beach State Stuns Stanford 76-68 In Bounceback Win
Long Beach State's three starting guards combined for 49 points.
Long Beach, Calif. -
Jordan Griffin made his first start of the season and made it count. The sophomore scored a career-high 21 points, including 11 straight for the Beach in the gut of the game, to lead Long Beach State to a 76-68 win over Stanford in the Walter Pyramid on Sunday.
After a disheartening loss to Fresno State less than 24 hours prior, Long Beach State (4-6) held tough early with Stanford (4-6), and pulled away late to pick up a critical non-conference win.
"I'm really excited for the guys. It was a much-needed reward," said head coach Dan Monson. It's been a long trek, and we got shook yesterday. We got embarrassed yesterday. Their character showed more than anything today. We've got a long ways to go to be a good basketball team, but if you have that kind of heart, that kind of character, you've got a chance as a coach with guys like that."
On the afternoon, the two teams traded the lead 12 times with 12 ties in a contest that was back-and-forth until the final minutes. "We needed to score early. The first ten minutes coming off of yesterday was so critical," continued Monson.
Deishuan Booker opened up the game with a 3-pointer, and over the first ten minutes, neither team opener up a lead larger than one basket, leading to a 19-19 tie with just over eight minutes to play in the first half.
Stanford put together one of their best stretches at that time, opening up a five-point lead and holding onto the lead for the rest of the half, as defensively both teams clamped down, allowing just two field goals over the final four minutes.
In the second half, however, Long Beach State's two shooting guards took over, as Griffin and Bryan Alberts combined for seven threes to reassert themselves. Booker was fouled on a three to start the half, putting the Beach back on top, and while Stanford pulled ahead a few times, the Beach quickly pulled back the margin each time as the Cardinal never led by more than five points on the night.
Alberts hit a three to give long Beach State its largest lead of the game of five points at 58-53, but Stanford once again went inside to Reid Travis, who led the Cardinal with 26 points, to tie the game at 59-59.
Griffin was in a great rhythm in the second half, and took over in the final five minutes. Booker found the sophomore to put the Beach on top 62-59. Then, on top 62-61, the Beach found Griffin for three on two straight trips, and then after a steal, another bucket from the sophomore had the Beach on top 70-63 with 1:39 to play, and LBSU held off the Cardinal the rest of the way to seal the victory.
-- LBSU Mens Basketball (@LBSUhoops) December 4, 2017
Griffin's 21 were a career-high, while Alberts added 15, Gabe Levin scored 13, and Booker chipped in 13 points with eight assists and five rebounds while guiding the offense.
The win is the second over a Pac-12 team this season, as LBSU previously defeated Oregon State in the Advocare Invitational, making the first time in school history that 49ers have beaten multiple Pac-12 (or Pac-10) teams in the same season. It is also the 11th win over a power-conference program under Dan Monson.
Long Beach State returns to the road for a pair of games next week. The squad will start by facing Southern Utah on Wednesday, December 6 before returning to Southern California to play in Malibu against Pepperdine on Saturday, December 9.
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