Deishuan Booker almost single-handedly carried Long Beach State men’s basketball into overtime against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night at Walter Pyramid, but his turnovers in the extra period were also the Beach’s undoing in a 92-90 loss.
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“In overtime we were gassed, especially Deishuan,” LBSU coach Dan Monson said. “He left it all out there and played a great game. In overtime we made too many mistakes, and even with four turnovers in overtime, we still had the ball to win the game at the end and we didn’t get it done.”
Booker’s layup at the end of regulation helped force overtime, and he attacked the basket again in the final seconds, but turned the ball over. His game-tying attempt at the end of overtime came up short.
“Those were self-inflicted,” Booker said of the turnovers. “Those are all my fault. (Fullerton) should have to work for all of their baskets in overtime, and I gave them three live ball turnovers.”
LBSU (8-11, 2-1) had won five of its last six games, and Fullerton (6-12, 2-2) had lost its last eight games in Long Beach. The Titans beat the 49ers in the Big West Conference tournament last year on their way to the title.
Booker is now averaging over 30 points per conference game after going 12/19 from the field on Saturday. Senior KJ Beyers came off of the bench to deliver a double-double performance with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Bryan Alberts chipped in 13 points for LBSU, and Edon Maxhuni scored 11 points.
Fullerton senior guard Kyle Allman scored 30 points, while the other four CSUF starters also finished with double digit points scored. The Titans shot 60 percent from the floor in the first half, and 51 percent for the game.
“It was just not a great night for us, but we kept competing and gave ourselves some great opportunities,” Monson said.
Fullerton held a 44-34 lead at halftime, but Booker sparked a comeback and tied the game 51-51 with a steal and layup on an inbound pass. The two conference rivals traded the lead down the stretch until the Titans took the lead with an 8-0 run in the final five minutes. Booker and LBSU answered with a run of their own, and a 3-pointer from Maxhuni cut the lead to 78-77. After a missed jump shot at the other end, Booker gave LBSU a lead with a layup. Fullerton tied it with a free throw, and Booker turned the ball over on the final possession of regulation.
Fullerton built its lead in overtime by scoring on the turnovers from Booker.
“I don’t know if we had a hangover from an emotion win on Thursday (at UC Irvine), but we just were really out of sync in the first half,” Monson said. “Give (Fullerton) credit, they came in like we did to Irvine and were the aggressors. They set the tone and got some confidence.”
LBSU only played nine players in the game because Temidayo Yussuf (knee) is still sidelined with injury, and both Beyers and Jordan Roberts fouled out.
“It was one of those games that was hard to officiate because there were a lot of calls that could’ve gone both ways,” Monson said. “I certainly think it evened out. But there were a lot of calls that were very decisive in that game.”
LBSU visits Cal State Northridge on Wednesday before hosting UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night.