LBSU Men’s Basketball Loses Charity Game Against CSU Bakersfield

Fans get a first look at the new squad while raising money for a good cause

By Jarrod Castillo Staff Writer

Long Beach State was defeated by CSU Bakersfield, 63–55, in a charity game that raised money for the victims of the California wildfires.

If the first half could be summed up in one word, it would be “offense.” Both sides came out firing, albeit not successfully. There were multiple possessions featuring great ball movement, as both teams attempted to find a seam in the defense to exploit.

The great offensive possessions were offset by strong defense, however, as both sides worked hard to contest any open shots and stifle all drives to the basket. As a result, the Roadrunners forced nine Beach turnovers to only five of their own in the first half.

The effects of being consistently active on defense noticeably affected the Beach, who ran out of gas late in the first half and were outscored 18–7.

Though some players seemed winded by the constant pressing, LBSU senior guard Barry Ogalue continued to be active on the offensive end. He led the way with nine points and seven rebounds, while Damiyne Durham led the way for Bakersfield with 13 points.

The second half was more of the same for the Beach as they shot the ball with confidence, mainly due to better ball movement to start off the half.

“We like to share [the] ball,” freshman guard Edon Maxhuni said. “We just try to make the right passes and we try to play like a team, not like one man.”

While the Beach passed the ball with greater conviction, they also looked energized coming out of the break. Senior forward Gabe Levin was seemingly everywhere on the court. On defense, he ran back and swatted a ball into the stands. On offense, he flew over defenders and hammered home a thunderous putback dunk.

That stretch wouldn’t last long for LBSU, as Bakersfield had a counter for every offensive change that the Beach made. The Beach experimented with small ball lineups for stretches, which the Roadrunners took full advantage of by using their size to grab 16 offensive rebounds and force 11 LBSU turnovers.

To add onto the struggles with rebounding and turnovers, LBSU was cold from three throughout the match, ending the night shooting only 20 percent from deep.

“We had good looks for good shooters,” LBSU coach Dan Monson said. “It’s a different pace. It’s a different gear in games.”

Monson also acknowledged that his team still need to work on it’s chemistry.

“Getting into a rhythm in a game is difficult,” he said. “You can tell they practiced harder than we have because they got into a rhythm.”

In the end, a late push by the Beach wasn’t enough as they fell to CSU Bakersfield. Ogalue led the way for the Beach with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Durham paced the Roadrunners with 20 points and six rebounds.

The final score may not have been favorable for the Beach, but they can take solace in the fact they were able to raise money for the Sonoma County Resilience Fund.

The match brought in 345 fans. Although there is no concrete amount at the time of writing, Monson says he thinks the program raised around $5,000 for families who were affected by the recent fires in Northern California.

The Beach will be back in action for their homecoming game on Nov. 4 against CSU Northridge.

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