The Long Beach State 49ers tried to play giant killers once more on Monday night, but their comeback effort fell short. Chris Smith scored 18 points, including four three-pointers, to lead the No. 6 Louisville Cardinals over the 49ers 79-66 at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.
The Cardinals improved to 6-0 on the season, though the 66 points scored by the 49ers were the most allowed by Louisville this season. Long Beach State (3-3) outrebounded Louisville 37-32 in defeat.
The 49ers trailed 44-32 at halftime, and Louisville extended their lead to 55-40 on a dunk by Chane Behanan with 12:59 remaining in the game. Long Beach State ramped up their defense and went on a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to cut the lead to five points at 57-52.
Unfortunately for Long Beach State, they were unable to get closer than five points.
Guard Larry Anderson led Long Beach State with 17 points and pulled down six rebounds before fouling out in the final minute. Casper Ware chipped in with 13 points and eight assists. The starters for the 49ers scored 62 of their 66 points.
Monday night was a continuation of a very challenging road schedule for Long Beach State. The 49ers already beat then-No. 9 Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh on November 16, and still have road games against No. 5 North Carolina, No. 11 Xavier, and No. 15 Kansas, all before Christmas.
Up next for Long Beach State is a home game Friday night against BYU-Hawaii at the Walter Pyramid.