Long Beach State defended home court Wednesday night at Walter Pavilion, defeating Cal State Northridge 80-78.
The win snapped a skid that saw Long Beach lose eight of nine games. They now improve to 10-18 on the season and sit at seventh place in the Big West standings.
The 49ers trailed by 11 at halftime in a game with a familiar feel to the others on the season for the team. However, the team fought back like they have all season and finally secured a close game win.
With 13 minutes left, the Matadors held on to a 16-point lead. Within the next few minutes, Long Beach fought back. Bryan Alberts hit one of his seven threes making the game 59-50 with 10 minutes left.
— LBSU Mens Basketball (@LBSUhoops) February 21, 2019
The 49ers continued to rally and eventually cut the lead the lead to three points with just under seven minutes left. Drew Cobb’s layup made it 63-60.
Long Beach and Northridge battled back and fourth all the way to the last minute when a Deishuan Booker layup made it 76-75 with nine seconds left. After each team exchanged a pair of made free throws, the game stood at 78-77.
With 4.3 seconds left sophomore guard, Terrell Gomez went to the free throw line. He missed the front end of a one and one, giving the 49ers plenty of time.
FINAL: Deishuan Booker (20pts, 9-9 FT) knocks down 5 FT in the final 5 sec as @LBSUhoops edge CSUN, 80-78!
Booker 4 away from the top of the all-time BWC single-season FTM list.
— #BigWestMBB (@BigWestMBB) February 21, 2019
Booker quickly pushed the ball up the floor, drawing a foul with 0.7 seconds left on a three. The senior guard made all three as Long Beach held on 80-78.
Booker continued his excellent free throw shooting on the season going 9-9 and 20 points. Alberts hit the aforementioned seven threes, tying Booker for the team lead with 20 points as well.
Jordan Roberts contributed 15 points while Cobb pulled down 13 rebounds off the bench.
In the type of close game, Long Beach had become accustomed to falling short in, the tides had finally turned. With only four regular-season games left who knows if this will give Long Beach the momentum, they need for the tournament.
In the meantime, it’s still nice for the team to see themselves on the winning side of a close game. The 49ers will continue play Saturday when they travel to take on Riverside.
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