Long Beach State men’s basketball coach Dan Monson was quick to take blame for the 87-62 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at Walter Pyramid.
“I apologize,” Monson said to open the post-game press conference. “We’re a fragile team right now. We broke for the first time this year (in the second half) and I as a coach have to take responsibility for that. We panicked and quit defending.”
LBSU (7-16, 2-5) upset UCSB on the road in the first conference game of the season 55-52. The Beach held the Gauchos to just 33.3 percent shooting from the field in the first half on Saturday, but gave up 55 points in the second half while UCSB shot 6-for-11 from 3-point range.
“We’re not at that place offensively to outscore teams,” Monson said. “We have to win at the defensive end like we did at Santa Barbara. We have to get ourselves comfortable with winning games uncomfortably. Today we weren’t.”
Visit The562.org for more Long Beach sports coverage.
LBSU took a 17-15 lead in the middle of first half, but never led again. UCSB took a 32-27 lead into halftime, and opened the second half on a run and doubled its advantage in just four minutes. The Gauchos led by double digits for the last nine minutes of the game.
Sophomore Chance Hunter scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for the Beach. Senior Jordan Roberts came off the bench to score a season-high 18 points and collect seven rebounds. LBSU only had nine assists.
UCSB guard Max Heidegger led the way for his team with 14 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. Forward Matt Freeman scored a game-high 24 points, and fellow big man Amadou Sow had a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
UCSB (14-8, 3-4) outrebounded LBSU 41-32 while pulling down 11 offensive boards. The Gouaches had 13 of their 22 assists in the second half.
LBSU is at Cal Poly on Wednesday.
The Beach (10-11, 5-3) had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 68-44 loss at Hawaii (10-10, 4-3) on Saturday.
LBSU junior Shanaijah Davison scored a team-high 14 points and sophomore Justina King chipped in 12 points. The Beach defense forced 19 Hawaii turnovers, but only scored nine points from those opportunities.
LBSU visits Cal Poly next Saturday.