Big West Conference

Buzzer Beater Brings Heartbreak as Long Beach Falls 82-80 against Irvine

Long Beach State fell victim to a buzzer-beating loss, 82-80 Saturday night against UC Irvine at the Walter Pyramid.

The loss marks the fifth straight for the 49ers after they had won five out of six. They gave the Big West leading Anteaters all they could ask for, but in the end, they saw their conference record drop to 2-5.

Irvine held the largest lead all game of just eight points. After the Anteaters held a three point advantage at halftime, the game was decided in the final minute of the contest.

With less than a minute left, Edon Maxhuni connected on one of his two threes on the evening. This gave Long Beach State a 79-78 lead. However, Irvine immediately responded with two points of their own regaining the lead.

After forward Mason Riggins hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 80, the Anteaters finished it. Junior forward Tommy Rutherford connected on a layup sealing the victory for the visitors.

It was another emotionally driven and taxing game. For the 49ers, seeing that they were able to keep up with the top team in their conference was encouraging. Nonetheless, the frustrations of getting so close only to fall in another close battle continue to add to the disappointment after games.

For the Beach, Deishuan Booker continued his stellar play. The senior guard scored 29 points going 11 for 11 on free throws. He paired that with five assists and only two turnovers.

The game also marked Booker’s seventh 20-point outing in his last nine games, as the 49ers leader has been on a tear.

Temidayo Yussuf scored eight points and collected five rebounds off the bench in his second game back from injury. With continued playing time and repetitions, Yussuf should be starting soon.

K.J. Byers added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Bryan Alberts scored 14 points and drilled a game-leading three three-pointers.

Long Beach State will look to get back in the win column Thursday at home against Hawaii. The game will present a good opportunity for revenge, and boost to turn their season back around.

Author Profile

Joel Ruditsky
Joel Ruditsky
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.
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