REPORTS FROM LBSU
Deishuan Booker had another big night for the Beach, finishing with 26 points and four assists as Long Beach State picked up an impressive 69-64 road victory over UC Santa Barbara. It’s the third consecutive win for The Beach after losing eight of the last nine Big West games.
The game started with an administrative technical assessed against Long Beach State (12-18, 6-8 Big West), but after the solo free throw started the game with the Beach in a 1-0 hole, that would match the largest lead of the game for UC Santa Barbara (19-9, 8-6 Big West) as LBSU had answers throughout the night.
Booker hit a three to cap a 7-0 start for Long Beach State, and the Beach never looked back in one of their more impressive games of the season. Booker was again perfect from the line, 6-for-6 while joined in double-figures by Jordan Roberts (16) and Bryan Alberts (15) as the Beach only trailed once more while taking a 34-25 lead into the break, their largest lead at halftime in the league season.
Devearl Ramsey scored the first eight points of the second half to bring the Gauchos right back into the thick of the action, and game was a back-and-forth battle the rest of the way.
Roberts threw down a dunk to put the Beach on top by five with 52-47, but UCSB would respond by taking the lead one final time on an 8-2 run at 55-54. A three-point play from Roberts was the Long Beach State answer at that point, and a Booker triple and a Mason Riggins slam pushed the lead out to seven once more.
Max Heidegger hit a three to cut the lead to two at 64-62 with 1:14 remaining, but two key offensive rebounds helped the Beach seal the win. On a 3-point miss from KJ Byers with the shot clock winding down, Roberts came up with the board and was fouled.
Then, after making the front end of a one-and-one, Riggins picked up the missed second shot and found Booker on an outlet. The senior would calmly sink four down the stretch run to maintain the lead for Long Beach State as the Beach has now won three straight games.
The Beach is back in the Walter Pyramid on Saturday, hosting Cal Poly at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 before closing the regular season on March 6 against UC Riverside, also at home in Long Beach.