Back On the Road For The Beach Wednesday At Southern Utah
Long Beach State will play two games on the road this week.
Long Beach, Calif. -
Game: Long Beach State at Southern Utah
Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Time: 6:30 p.m. MT
Location: Cedar City, Utah
Arena: America First Event Center (5,300)
TV Talent: None
Radio: HD 88.1-3, 22 West Radio
Radio Talent: Jason Schwartz
Live Stats: BeachLiveStats.com
Long Beach State returns to the road, facing Southern Utah on Wednesday.
Wednesday's game marks just the third time the two times have played. Southern Utah won both games in a home-and-home series that the teams played in 2002 and 2003 under head coach Larry Reynolds.
Long Beach State bounced back with a critical victory Sunday, winning 76-68 over Stanford to grab the program's 11th win over a power conference program under Dan Monson. The win marked the second win over a Pac-12 opponent for the Beach this season after the team's earlier win against Oregon State, the first time in program history the 49ers have won two games against Pac-12 (or Pac-10) teams in one season.
Sophomore Jordan Griffin made his first start of the season, and responded with a career-high 21 points, leading the Beach to the win over Stanford. Griffin is now third on the team in scoring at 9.1 points per game, and is shooting 51.1 percent from 3-point range on the season.
Junior Deishuan Booker has been putting up outstanding passing numbers in his first season at the Beach. 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. The junior college transfer is leading the Big West with 5.9 assists per game, and is chipping in 8.7 points per game as well.
Two players for Long Beach State earned preseason honors, as both Temidayo Yussuf and Gabe Levin were selected for the six-player Preseason All-Big West team, selected by the media covering the conference. Both have previously earned All-Big West honors, and are both in their fourth year with the program. Despite this being the fourth year in the program for both players, the two have yet to play a Big West game together.
Senior Gabe Levin has continued his habit of performing at his best against ranked opponents. Levin picked up his first double-double of the year at No. 23 West Virginia, scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Levin has eight double-doubles in his career, and is averaging 13.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game this season, leading the team in both.
Booker and Levin became the first two players to each record a double-double in the same game since the 2012-13 season, as Levin finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds and Booker had 15 points with his 12 assists in the final game of the Advocare Invitational against Nebraska.
Bryan Alberts topped his career high in scoring in three straight games, adding one point each time, culminating in his first 20-point game against West Virginia. Now averaging 11.9 points per game, the Gonzaga graduate transfer is second on the Beach in scoring this season. In his third season in Spokane last year, Alberts played in 24 games and reached the National Championship game, which is the furthest any player to wear an LBSU uniform has gone in the postseason.
Mason Riggins has started the first all ten games this season for Long Beach State, and has been a great low-post presence for the team. Riggins is averaging 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, and leads the team with 11 blocks on the year.
Yussuf made his debut for the Beach in 2017-18 against Missouri, and played a big part in the November 24th win over Oregon State, scoring nine points with seven rebounds, while playing a role in limiting Drew Eubanks to six points after the Beaver big man scored 26 in the team's first meeting.
Senior Barry Ogalue has been one of the main scorers for the team in 2017-18, averaging 8.6 points per game. Ogalue is also averaging 2.8 rebounds as he plays a key role that began in a second-half turnaround last season for the senior that saw the Yuba CC transfer go from limited minutes to starting both games of the Big West Tournament and beginning this season in the starting five.
Edon Maxhuni has also contributed at the point guard position, as the true freshman scored in double-figures in two straight games, including scoring 16 at Oregon State, and was one of the surprises of the preseason. Maxhuni has extensive international experience, playing for the Finland Youth National Team in multiple competitions.
KJ Byers got off to a quick start, showcasing his athleticism in the season opener against the Dons. Byers had the most complete stat line of the night, scoring eight points with six rebounds while adding two assists, two blocks and two steals while making just one turnover and shooting 6-for-6 from the line. On the year, Byers is averaging 4.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while adding 10 blocks.
Two other sophomores are looking to increase their role with the program in their second season at the Beach in Javonntie Jackson and LaRond Williams, though both are averaging under 10 minutes per game through the first ten games.
A slightly delayed start didn't slow down freshman Jordan Roberts in his first action with the team on Tuesday. The CIF Division II Player of the Year out of Ridgeview High School in Bakersfield, Roberts scored eight points in his debut for the Beach against San Francisco State after missing the opener against San Francisco, and has played in every game since in 2017-18.
Senior Quentin Shropshire continues to contribute in a bench role, as the former track and field athlete at the Beach continues his two-sport story after ending the 2016-17 campaign in the rotation. Others rounding out the roster include his high school teammate Breamon Richard, and two expected redshirts in Milos Apic and Jaice Gardner.
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