The 49ers long, four game week came to a disappointing end with three seconds left in Malibu.
Pepperdine came into the game with one of the nation's best three point defenses while the Beach brought a trigger happy squad shooting over 40% from long range. The Waves weren't a three point shooting team, but that scouting report went right out the window when Jeremy Major knocked down a shot clock beating three in the first possession of the game.
Long Beach State played a zone early, to counter the Waves' dynamic inside duo of Lamond Murray Jr. and Stacy Davis. Smart, considering the Waves score less than 30% of their points from long range. But they didn't game plan for A.J. Lapray, who went three of four from long range to help beat the zone.
The Beach went into that zone after a Davis block on Roschon Prince sent Murray streaking down the court and gave the Waves a 14-8 lead.
With the defensive scheme not working for Dan Monson's squad the 49ers picked up the pace. Pepperdine didn't turn the ball over for almost the entire first half, until an aggressive Long Beach press forced back-to-back-to-back-to-back turnovers in the final three minutes. Pepperdine's lead almost evaporated, and the Waves took a one point lead into the break.
While Pepperdine managed the game in the first the second was different, punctuated regularly by the visitors. Former LMU standout Gabe Levin threw down a number of slam dunks against his old conference rival.
Long Beach State got its first lead of the game, 35-34, early in the second, and kept up the faster tempo established late in the first. As the teams traded punches, going back and forth, the game got quite physical. For a team of three point shooters, that didn't benefit the 49ers.
Pepperdine held Long Beach State a solid ten percentage points below their season average, 30% tonight compared to 40.6% this season.
Nick Faust tied things up with a slam in the final minute, but Jett Raines put back a Jeremy Major miss on the other end that gave Pepperdine the game with three seconds remaining.