Beach Rallies Down The Stretch To Defeat Oregon State In Portland 71-67
Roschon Prince finishes with his first career double-double in the win.
Portland, Ore. - Long Beach State got a big lift off of the bench from junior Roschon Prince, who finished with his first career double-double, scoring 12 points with 12 rebounds as the Beach came from behind and defeated Oregon State in Portland at the Moda Center, home of the Trailblazers.
Long Beach State (3-10) went 20-of-21 from the foul line and overcame a four-point halftime deficit to defeat Oregon State (3-8), as the Beach captured their first road win over a Pac-12 opponent since 1995.
The victory over the Beavers marked the third win over a Pac-12 team for Long Beach State under Dan Monson, joining wins over USC and UCLA, and was the ninth win over a Power 6 conference squad in Monson's 10 seasons at the helm.
"I was pleased with the way we fought through adversity, and stayed together when we got behind," said Monson. "Obviously, when you're 2-10, you need a confidence builder, and hopefully this is something that we can build on and springboard from."
Both teams started the game very slowly, and the score was 4-2 in favor of the 49ers after the first eight minutes. With Gabe Levin picking up two early fouls, it was the bench that helped get things going for Long Beach State, as Prince came on for extended minutes as did Noah Blackwell to help the team settle in.
Junior Evan Payne scored 10 points in the first half to keep Long Beach State in striking distance at halftime, as the teams went into the lockers rooms with Oregon State holding a 29-25 lead.
After the 49ers went 0-for-6 from three in the first half, Evan Payne hit two in quick succession to tie the game at 33-33, but Oregon State was able to push the edge to seven, and led 48-41 with 10 minutes to go in the game.
Aggressive and smart play in the final 10 minutes helped Long Beach State turn things around. Prince drew a foul and knocked down a pair of free throws, and the next trip down Justin Bibbins buried a three to pull the Beach within two.
Down three with five minutes remaining, Jordan Griffin tied the game at 52-52, and then Bibbins put Long Beach State out in front with a pair of free throws, the first lead in the second half for LBSU with 4:06 remaining.
After the eighth tie of the game evened the score at 58-58 with three minutes to play, Prince put the Beach back on top, and after Drew Eubanks made one of two free throws on the Oregon State end, Bibbins cashed in a pair of free throws to extend the Long Beach State lead to three points.
Gave Levin, who played just seven minutes in the first half with foul trouble, took over the final minutes. A three-point play from the junior extended the 49er lead to four, and after an Oregon State three from Ben Kone, Levin answered with a layup to keep the Beach in the lead.
Stephen Thompson Jr. cut the lead to one with a pair of free throws with 20 seconds remaining, but Levin made both of his ensuing free throws to push the lead back to three points, finishing with 13 points, all in the second half.
"Gabe put his head down and attacked [at the end of the game]," said Monson. "I was really proud of the way that he came back in the second half."
After Thompson Jr. made one of two shots on the OSU end, Prince was fouled with four seconds left, and the junior made both to seal an outstanding day and give Long Beach State a crucial 71-67 win.
Long Beach State won the rebounding battle Friday night 33 to 27, led by Prince's 12, and had 13 assists on 23 made shots, led by Bibbins who had six assists to go with 16 points. Payne led the way in scoring with 19 points and four rebounds, while Levin and Prince also finished in double-figures.
A welcome return to the Walter Pyramid is next for Long Beach State, who will host The Master's on Monday at 7 p.m. before playing host to Colorado State on Thursday, December 22. The pair of games marks the only time in the non-conference schedule the 49ers will play back-to-back home games.
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