Long Beach State loses 69-59 at Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP)
Long Beach State almost picked up a big victory on Saturday. Instead, the 49ers got another loss to a ranked opponent, and coach Dan Monson said a lack of focus was the difference.
''I just felt like we had an opportunity to win and we didn't take advantage of it,'' Monson said. ''You don't get those opportunities on a Top 25 team of this caliber very often.''
Kris Gulley had 13 points and Mike Caffey finished with 10 for the 49ers (4-10), who shot 33.3 percent (17 for 51) from the field. David Samuels grabbed eight rebounds.
Long Beach State dropped to 0-4 against ranked teams this season with an average margin of defeat of 18.5 points.
Caffey's layup with 2:48 left trimmed Missouri's lead to 61-57. But Missouri's Jabari Brown answered with a 3-pointer to squelch the threat.
''I think we were right there all the way until the end,'' said Lamb, a UCLA transfer who was 4 for 13 from the field in his fourth game since gaining eligibility. ''I think we could have won this game easily.''
Jabari Brown scored 22 points, Earnest Ross added 16 and Ryan Rosburg had 11 rebounds for Missouri (12-1), who open Southeastern Conference play at home against Georgia on Wednesday. Jordan Clarkson, who leads the SEC with a 20-point average, had a season-low 11 points.
Missouri has won 26 in a row at home, the longest current streak in the nation. It also has an 81-game winning streak against non-conference opponents since losing to Sam Houston State to start the 2005-06 season.
Long Beach State returns home to open its 16-game Big West slate with UC Irvine on Thursday. The 49ers were picked to finish fourth in the conference after winning it last year with a 14-4 record.
''I think they'll contend for their league championship,'' Missouri coach Frank Haith said. ''I think this is a great, great win for us.''
Long Beach State could be without leading rebounder Dan Jennings for its conference opener. The forward missed the last 16 minutes against the Tigers after a collision under the basket.
Monson said he thought Jennings' head and ankle were being evaluated after Caffey's elbow connected with Jennings' face during a drive to the rim.
Long Beach State had won three in a row after losses earlier in the season to Arizona, Michigan and VCU, each of which was ranked at the time. The 49ers led 36-35 at the half against VCU and only trailed 37-34 at the break against Missouri.
The 49ers led for most of the opening 15 minutes before a 10-2 Missouri run gave the Tigers a 26-25 lead with 4:22 left in the first half. Long Beach State hit three of its first four 3-pointers before going 4 of 22 from long range the rest of the way.
''I think this game just shows us our identity and how good we can be if we play a whole game instead of just the first 10 minutes or the first half,'' Lamb said.
The Mizzou Arena was about half-filled, with attendance announced at 8,679 a day after the ninth-ranked football team beat Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. The entertainment was a skeleton crew of five cheerleaders, an alumni band and no Golden Girls.
Wes Clark's 3-pointer gave Missouri its largest lead at 51-38 with 13:32 to play. Long Beach State answered with a 10-2 run, powered by five points from Lamb. Four straight points by Gulley cut the deficit to 57-55 with just over six minutes to go.