Long Beach State (2-3)
- Head Coach: Dan Monson (11th Season)
- Top Performer: Gabe Levin (14.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG)
- Points For: 80.3 PPG (T-117th)
- Points Against: 80.3 PPG (291st)
- Last Game/Streak: 95-58 Loss v. Missouri* (3L)
It’s like deja vu all over again.
Less than a week ago, the Beavers and the 49ers met in Corvallis, where Oregon State used strong showing from forward Drew Eubanks (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Tres Tinkle (20 points, 4 assists), to slide by Long Beach State, 89-81.
On Friday in Orlando, the two squads will meet for now the third time in the last calendar year, when they play for a chance to go to the “Fifth Place Game” in the 2017 Advocare Invitational.
For Long Beach State, this situation was likely expected when the tournament bracket was reveled, considering they were lined up in the first round against one of the favorites in the field in Missouri. However, after a leg injury ended the Tigers’ freshman phenom Michael Porter Jr.’s rookie season with the team, it was unknown just how strong Mizzou’s grasp on the field still was.
Yesterday’s 95-58 thrashing of the 49ers may have helped proved some of the Tigers staying power.
As for Oregon State, the Beavers believed they had a bit more of a shot to knock off St. John’s, before a second-half collapse squandered away their three-point half-time lead and spoiled an epic night from the brothers Thompson. But the reality of tournament play is that there’s no time to sulk, as another game sits close on the horizon. Oregon State now needs to set their sights (again) on the 49ers, to hopefully force a Sunday showdown with the winner of the Marist-Nebraska contest.
While yesterday’s defeat was a bit of a heartbreaking reality of some of the bigger issues still lingering within the Beavers program, it seems like this year’s edition of the Oregon State basketball program has significantly changed for the better from last year’s 5-27 team. Oregon State should be able to comprehend the task at hand and recognize how crucial it is to leave Florida with two wins in the bank, compared to letting yesterday’s setback spiral out of control.
Players To Watch
Gabe Levin (SR - Forward): The focal point of the 49ers roster, the 6’ 7”, 230-pound Gabe Levin is usually priority number one for any opponent, which won’t change in the slightest on Friday for the Beavers. Despite not having the most prolific outing last time against Oregon State (12 points, 7 rebounds), Levin is always on the verge of a career performance.
Barry Ogalue (SR - Forward): After a torrid start to the season, forward Barry Ogalue has come back to earth in his last few contests, combining for just 7 points on 2-9 shooting and 1 rebound, in the 49ers last two blowout losses. So why is he a player to watch? Ogalue torched Oregon State for 17 points on 6-10 shooting and 5 boards, in their meeting less than a week ago.
Bryan Alberts (JR - Guard): Currently Long Beach State’s leading scorer on the season, the Gonzaga transfer has found a comfort zone under head coach Dan Monson, that he never could discover during his time with the Zags. Going from a scarcely used talent to one of the best players in his new program has been a unique experience for Bryan Alberts, who is emerging as one of the best break-through talents in the Big West Conference.
- Date: Friday, November 24th
- Time: 10:30 AM PT
- Location: HP Field House (Orlando, FL)
- Coverage: ESPN3