By Jarrod Castillo Staff Writer
Coming off of a two-game skid at the Walter Pyramid, the Beach beat the Cal Poly Mustangs, 73-54, behind double-figure scoring from four players.
LBSU was able to get solid production from their frontcourt as senior forward Gabe Levin put up 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Temidayo Yussuf added 17 points and 11 rebounds to the contest.
In the first half, both sides pushed the tempo and used transition baskets to their advantage. The high-throttle pace benefitted LBSU freshman guard Jordan Roberts, who notched four quick points early in the match.
LBSU also played suffocating defense, leading to ill-advised shots at the end of the shot clock for the Mustangs. Though aggressive defense favored the Beach for stretches, it also allowed Cal Poly to take advantage of over-aggression, which gave them easy looks at the basket.
After a fast-paced nine minutes of efficient shooting for both teams, they were noticeably fatigued, which led to hectic possessions on the offensive end. Both sides shot a combined 7-for-30 for the rest of the half. Despite their poor shooting, the Beach managed to go into halftime with a 24-20 lead.
Roberts led the way for LBSU with six points on 3-of-6 shooting, while Meikle had 10 for the Mustangs at the end of the first.
After being held to a combined nine points, LBSU looked to their offensive powerhouse in the post throughout the second half. As such, a plethora of possessions went to Levin or Yussuf’s hands down low.
Levin managed to scored 14 points, while Yussuf added another 12. With both players commanding a lot of attention in the post, junior guard Bryan Alberts was able to get going as well.
After shooting 0-2 in the first half, Alberts hit three 3-pointers in the second, which helped push the Beach’s lead to 22. He finished the game with 11 points, joining Levin, Yussuf and Roberts in double-figure scoring.
In the end, Levin and Yussuf’s offensive might was too much for the Mustangs and LBSU comfortably won the game 73-54.
After the win, Beach head coach Dan Monson praised Levin and Yussuf’s leadership and importance on the offensive end.
“Those are our captains, those are who we play off of,” Monson said. “We try to play inside out and play off those two. They’re both playing at a very high level.”
As Yussuf and Levin are the most experienced in the squad, they are naturally the example-setters on the court, which is something that Yussuf also emphasized.
“We’ve been in these situations before and we have a lot of new guys,” he said. “They’re following our lead and if we’re [Levin and Yussuf] playing well, it’s most likely we’re going to win and everybody else is going to play well.
The Beach conclude their four-game homestand at the Walter Pyramid on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. against the top-seeded UC Santa Barbara.