By Jose Saldana
Turnovers and three pointers terrorized Stanford men’s basketball (4-6) once again in its 76-68 loss to the Long Beach State 49ers (4-6) at the Walter Pyramid on Sunday afternoon.
The Cardinal have played the 49ers three other times in the past and won all three, but this game marked Long Beach State’s first victory over Stanford.
The Cardinal were playing without seniors Dorian Pickens and Marcus Sheffield and freshman guard Daejon Davis due to injury. Pickens hasn’t played since suffering an injury against Pacific, and Sheffield hasn’t played since the exhibition game against Chico State.
Stanford committed 17 turnovers in the game, and 11 of those came in the first half, which allowed the 49ers to keep the game close. Stanford only had a two-point lead heading into the half.
The Cardinal are averaging 16.2 turnovers per game, which ranks 311th in the nation. They had 28 in the loss to Portland State in the final game of the Phil Knight Invitational.
Long Beach State took on Stanford blow-for-blow, and then its guards erupted from the three-point line. In the first half, the 49ers shot three of 11 on three-pointers, but they shot seven of 11 in the second half.
Long Beach State guards Jordan Griffin and Bryan Alberts were scorching hot to end the game as they scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the second half. Starting from the first game of the season against Cal Poly, opposing guards have given Stanford trouble with their penetration and perimeter shooting.
Senior forward Reid Travis was a force again against the 49ers. He scored his eighth 20-point game (26 points) this season and came down with 11 rebounds for the double-double. He is averaging 21.7 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game, but a concern for Travis could be the number of minutes he is playing. After playing 38 minutes against Long Beach State, Travis is averaging 34.8 minutes per game — five more minutes than the next highest Cardinal.
Freshman guard Isaac White had it going from distance as he went five of 10 from beyond the three-point line. He had open looks generated from the attention that Travis and senior center Michael Humphrey require in the post.
Even though Stanford shot a healthy 49.1 percent on field goals, the 49ers’ hot shooting (50.9 percent for the game and 60.71 percent in the second half) buried the Cardinal in an avalanche of points to give Long Beach State the victory.
The Cardinal will get a reprieve for final exams before hosting Denver on Dec. 15 at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcasted by the Pac-12 Networks.
Contact Jose Saldana at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.