[11:00 PM] Long Beach State @ Oregon State

Who will WIN this matchup?

Long Beach State 49ers (2-10)

@ Oregon State Beavers (3-7)


The post-Gary Payton II era is off to a rough start at Oregon State, which has lost seven straight games against Division I opponents heading into Friday’s contest against Long Beach State at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore. The Beavers hit a new low with last Sunday’s 93-90 overtime loss to visiting Savannah State, which was picked to finish 11th in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The Beavers hope to get untracked against Long Beach State, whose challenging non-conference schedule has included losses to Wichita State, North Carolina, Kansas, Louisville and UCLA. The 49ers were picked to win the Big West Conference and boast a veteran backcourt led by junior Evan Payne, who averaged 21.5 points last week in games against Pepperdine and Texas.

Payne tied the school single-game record with eight 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 26 points in last Saturday’s 71-65 loss at Texas as the 49ers failed to protect a 12-point lead early in the second half. Forward Gabe Levin leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.2 points and 6.6 rebounds, while 5-8 point guard Justin Bibbins is averaging 9.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds. Coach Dan Monson’s squad ranks among the worst in the country in 3-point field goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot 40.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Freshman guard Kendal Manuel, one of the few bright spots of the non-conference schedule, averaged 16.5 points and shot 11-of-20 from the field over the last two games while moving into the starting lineup. The Beavers are leaning heavily on young players such as Manuel and sophomore guard Stephen Thompson Jr., who is averaging 17 points in the last three games after missing six contests with a left foot injury. Sophomore forward Drew Eubanks is averaging 14 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 61.1 percent from the field.

Long Beach State has lost all six matchups against teams from a Power Five conference this season by an average of 23 points.


StreakSmarts Pick: Long Beach State 49ers

Confidence: 3/10

StreakSmarter Pick