49ers fall to Mustangs, shooting woes continue
By Francisco Valladares Staff Writer
Basketball continues to evolve as a game, one of the biggest changes is a newfound reliance on the three pointer. Unfortunately, Long Beach State doesn’t seem to be able to adapt to the new trend.
Cal Poly made nine of their 13 three point attempts in the first half to ultimately defeat The Beach, 78-71.
LBSU (13-18, 8-7) converted only 22 percent of their three point shooting, continuing their season long slump.
The Mustangs shot a scorching 53 percent shooting from three in the first half that got them the win, their first at the Walter Pyramid in seven seasons.
“We’ve struggled all year with teams that spread you out with the bounce and kick and shoot the ball,” said Head Coach Dave Monson. “Our activity wasn’t good enough, we couldn’t keep the ball in front of us, first and foremost. That’s the best way to contain the three.”
The 49ers defense did have trouble defending Cal Poly at the arc, specifically in just allowing such a large volume of shots.
The Mustangs attempted 32 three-pointers throughout the entirety of the game, ending with a 40 percent mark from deep.
While the Mustangs offense continued to catch fire, the Beach found it difficult to defend their constant aggression on offense.
“We were just not disruptive enough [on offense], and Cal Poly got very comfortable [defending],” Monson said.
While LBSU had trouble shooting triples, they stayed close in the game with good play in the paint, lead by sophomore forward, Temidayo Yussuf.
Yussuf tallied 24 points in the contest and added 7 rebounds. The star big man scored, 10 of his 15 field goals in the painted area, displaying the consistence dominance in close proximity to the basket that he has shown all season.
“If you dominate the paint, you have a pretty good chance of winning,” said Yussuf. “If the other team has more threes than you, it’s going to be tough to win. Hopefully we play better defense and the threes start to open up more in the next game.”
This was the case as it was a close loss for the Beach that easily could have been a win if there was more balance from outside shooting.
With only two regular season games to go in conference play before the start of the tournament, the Beach will be hoping to get passed this shooting slump in order to make a serious run in the postseason.
They visit UC Davis next on February 25, and will be hoping to gain some momentum going into the final stretch of the season.