The 49ers dropped their third game in a row Saturday night at Walter Pavilion, 82-71 to UC Santa Barbara.
Long Beach State kept it close for the first 35 minutes, trailing by only five with five minutes left. Unfortunately, the Gauchos picked apart their zone towards the end and pulled away.
When the two teams went to shake hands at the end, a mini skirmish broke out, with both coaches and players involved. One team walking away cocky and confident, the other frustrated after another tough loss.
“I believe the team that loses is always in the wrong in these situations,” said head coach Dan Monson. “The winning team can say whatever they want. We simply didn’t play good enough and we have to get better.
However, Monson still wasn’t too thrilled with the tense confrontations after the game.
Media members behind the Santa Barbara bench could hear an assistant coach yelling at some 49er players. Eventually, it all boiled over after the game in a heated scene.
“They run their program how they want, but we’re going to do it the right way,” said Monson. “If they are okay with a grown man yelling at one of my players, that is on them as a program.”
The 49ers started the second half on an 11-0 run to take an immediate 42-38 lead. However the Gauchos came back with a 9-0 run, and a 7-0 run later in the half to eliminate any momentum Long Beach had.
Deishuan Booker led the way for the 49ers with one of his most efficient games. He scored 25 points on 6-11 shooting, paired with seven assists and no turnovers. KJ Byers and Edon Maxhuni were the other 49ers to score in double digits with 13 and 12 points respectively.
Coach Monson employed a trap zone on defense for the whole second half, coming back with mixed results. The team started off swarming, but Santa Barbara eventually settled down and got good shots.
“In that zone, we have to do a better job of locating seniors,” said senior guard Deishuan Booker. “We can’t give them looks that easy down the stretch.”
The loss drops the 49ers to 2-3 in Big West play, as they now find themselves near the bottom. Santa Barbara is 4-1 in conference play now tied at the top.
- I am a huge Yankees, New York Giants and Los Angeles Lakers fan. However I have a huge passion for all three sports in general across the MLB, NFL, and NBA. I also cover the Cal State Long Beach Men's Basketball team.