First, the Gauchos and 49ers split the season series. In the middle of January, LBSU destroyed the Gauchos 67-47. In the middle of February, the Gauchos won 64-62 at the T-Dome on FSN West.
Here are my reasons why LBSU can beat the Gauchos in Anaheim.
1) Rebounding: In the two games, LBSU outrebounded the 'Chos 78-62. A plus 16 margin. The reason is that TJ Robinson and Eugene Phelps are very physical and want the ball. TJ Robinson is 9th in the country in double-doubles. If Jaime Serna can start grabbing about 6 or 7 rebounds a game, and the back up big men can grab a few, the Gauchos can at least become even in the rebounding party if the Gauchos play the 49ers again.
2) Casper Ware: When Long Beach State plays well, it is because of Casper Ware. In Long Beach wins, Casper Ware has been dominant. He has made big shots, gotten steals, and ran the team. So if Will Brew and Justin Joyner can limit him to around 8 points and 3 assists, UCSB will beat the 49ers.
3) 3-Point Shooting: Greg Plater and Stephan Gilling are great shooters. Both shoot 37% and knock down big shots. They made a combined 7-18 three pointers in there lost which shows that they can carry a team just with their shooting. So James Nunnally and Jordan Weiner will need to pressure their shots if these teams meet again.
4) Monson Maniacs: Long Beach State is very close to Anaheim which means LBSU would bring their student section, the Monson Maniacs. Not saying the Locos aren't as good, they are the best in the Big West, but the Maniacs would have at least 2 times the amount of students UCSB would have.
There you go. So Gauchos, just try to avoid The Beach in Anaheim.
Orlando Johnson struggled vs. Long Beach State