Long Beach State

November 17, 2011 by staff 

Long Beach State, Long Beach State coach Dan Monson helped turn Gonzaga into a national power more than a decade ago by challenging anyone, anywhere at any time.

He’s kept the same philosophy with the 49ers, although without the same spectacular results.

Until now.

Casper Ware scored a career-high 28 points and Long Beach State raced by No. 9 Pittsburgh 86-76 on Wednesday night, the program’s first win over a top-10 team in nearly 20 years.

“It’s a big win but we expected to win this,” Ware said. “Everybody in the locker room knew we were going to win this game.”

Long Beach State (2-0) has put together the toughest nonconference schedule in the country in each of the past two seasons, and this one is no different.

Wednesday night’s game was the start of a brutal stretch that includes trips to defending Mountain West champion San Diego State, No. 8 Louisville, No. 12 Kansas, No. 1 North Carolina along with a showdown in Hawaii against No. 13 Xavier three days before Christmas.

Long Beach State became just the second non-Big East team to win at the Petersen Events Center and the first nonconference opponent to knock off the Panthers at home in November and December since the gym opened in 2002.

Ashton Gibbs led Pitt (2-1) with 20 points and Nasir Robinson added 19.

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