Long Beach State Closes Homestand Against UC Santa Barbara
Long Beach State plays the first of two games in the next five against the league leaders.
Long Beach, Calif. -
Game: Long Beach State vs. UC Santa Barbara
Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Arena: Walter Pyramid (4,200)
TV Talent: None
Radio: HD 88.1-3, 22 West Radio
Radio Talent: Jason Schwartz
Webcast: Beach Vision
Live Stats: BeachLiveStats.com
Long Beach State will play the last of four straight home games on Thursday, hosting league leaders UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. The Beach plays the Gauchos twice in the team's final five regular season games.
Long Beach State had gone four full seasons without having two players record double-doubles in the same game, and it has now happened twice this season. Gabe Levin and Deishuan Booker each had double-doubles against Nebraska, as Levin finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds while Booker had 15 points along with 12 assists in the neutral-site game. Levin was then a part of the second time, scoring 20 points with 11 rebounds while Temidayo Yussuf added 17 points and 11 boards in a win over Cal Poly.
Levin leads the Big West in scoring during league play at 22.4 points per game, and also ranks in the top 10 in rebounding as a dual threat. Levin is also closing in on two career milestones for his time at the Beach, as the senior is 29 points away from becoming the just the second transfer, and 24th player to score 1,000 points at Long Beach State.
Long Beach State has been easily the quickest paced team in the Big West through the first half of the season. A top-50 tempo team in the country per Ken Pomeroy, LBSU's up-and-down style in 2017-18 sees the Beach scoring 79.5 points and making 7.1 steals per game in league play.
Through 67 seasons of Long Beach State Men's Basketball, the program has recorded 999 wins, leaving the 2017-18 team needing one more win to record the 1,000th victory in program history.
Junior Deishuan Booker has been putting up outstanding passing numbers in his first season at the Beach. Leading the Big West with 5.0 assists per game, Booker now ranks 19th in school history in single-season assists and is quickly climbing. Booker tied the Advocare Invitational record with 27 assists, and is the first player since Long Beach State great Ed Ratleff to have 11 or more assists in back-to-back games. Booker is also first player since Billy Walker in 1988 to have two games with 12 or more assists in his career. Not to be left behind in scoring, Booker is also third on the team averaging 10.0 points per game.
Senior Gabe Levin is climbing the career ladders at Long Beach State, highlighting his production in 74 total games played at LBSU. Levin has an opportunity to become the twelfth player in school history to reach the 1,000 point/500 rebound club, and has recorded eight double-doubles in his career, including three against ranked opponents.
Senior Gabe Levin had a career night against UC Davis, tying Ed Ratleff's single-game scoring record at Long Beach State with 45 points in a double-overtime loss to UC Davis. Levin broke the Big West records for free throws made (24) and attempted (28) in the game while shooting 50 percent from the field and from three.
Temidayo Yussuf missed the first four games of the season, but came into form in perfect timing for the beginning of league play. Yussuf is now averaging 9.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, and is averaging 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in Big West action.
Bryan Alberts set a new career high with 25 points against Southern Utah, and has led the team in scoring six times in 2017-18. Now averaging 12.3 points per game, the Gonzaga graduate transfer is second on the Beach in scoring this season, and returned to action against Cal Poly after missing nine games, and has now scored in double-figures in two straight games.
Edon Maxhuni has also contributed at the point guard position, as the true freshman has scored in double-figures in eight games, including two 16-point efforts, and is fifth on the team in scoring in league play at 8.4 points per game. Maxhuni has extensive international experience, playing for the Finland Youth National Team in multiple competitions.
KJ Byers continues to showcase his complete game in his first year at Long Beach State after transferring in this season. Byers is one of the team's leaders defensively, with 25 blocks and 27 steals, and is averaging 5.5 points and 4.2 rebounds on the year.
Jordan Roberts has stepped up in league play, making nine starts and contributing 6.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field. The freshman is providing a strong defensive presence while averaging 23.5 minutes per game in Big West games.
Mason Riggins continues to be a solid presence in the post for Long Beach State, and has played in 95 games for the Beach. The junior is averaging 4.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, while adding 20 blocks and shooting 63.0 percent from the field in 2017-18. The junior also set a career-high against UC Riverside, grabbing 14 rebounds to lead the team.
Sophomore Jordan Griffin made his first start of the season against Stanford, and responded with a career-high 21 points, leading the Beach to the win over Cardinal. Griffin is seventh on the team in scoring at 6.3 points per game, has scored in double-figures seven times, and is shooting 39.6 percent from 3-point range on the season.
Junior Breamon Richard made his Division I debut against Texas A&M International, playing 19 minutes and scoring four points with two assists. A star across town at Long Beach City College for two seasons, he joins his high school teammate Quentin Shropshire with the 49ers. Shropshire, a former high jumper with the track and field team, is in his second season with the men's basketball program.
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