The Long Beach State 49ers came up just short in a comeback bid against the Trojans, losing 75-65 on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, CA.
The loss marks the 49ers’ fourth straight against PAC-12 opponents, and overall drops them to 2-6 on the season.
With Senior guard and leading scorer Deishuan Booker out due to injury, the need for scoring was severe. Unfortunately, Long Beach State produced a largely inefficient game shooting just 35.7 percent with 13 turnovers.
Down by eight points at halftime, the 49ers were able to cut the lead down to three. Ron Freeman scored two of his 12 points on the evening, making it 66-63 with 2:52 remaining.
However, the play by USC’s Junior forward Nick Rakocevic was too much. The six-foot 11-inch big man scored 19 points as well as grabbing 12 rebounds for a double-double.
The teams evened out with 39 rebounds each, while the Trojans only had one less turnover with 12. Three-point shooting proved to be the deciding factor though. Long Beach State shot 22.7 percent on 5-22 shooting. Meanwhile, the Trojans went 7-15 to the tune of 46.7 percent shooting from behind the arc.
Senior guards Bryan Alberts and Jordan Roberts had 13 points apiece, season highs for both players. At the same time Sophomore forward KJ Byers and Sophomore guard, Edon Maxhuni struggled. The two went a combined 1-11 from the field with two turnovers and two assists.
Every Trojan starter scored double figures, while Junior guard Derryck Thornton lead the game with seven assists. Freshman guard Elijah Weaver came off the bench and knocked down a couple of threes for the Trojan squad as well.
As mentioned above, the loss drops Long Beach State to 0-4 on the season against PAC-12 Opponents. They will now begin a six-game stretch away from this dreaded conference Saturday evening against the San Diego Toreros.