College Basketball: Long Beach State 49ers Upset No. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers

Jason Clark@jclark735Correspondent IINovember 17, 2011

The Long Beach State men's basketball team became only the second ever non-conference opponent to win at Pittsburgh today when they cruised to an 86-76 victory over the No. 9 Panthers.

The 49ers had high hopes for the season, but none this high.

Preseason All-Big West first-teamer Casper Ware led Long Beach with a career-high 28 points.  It was his clutch play and leadership on the court that guided the 49ers to a historic victory.  

Long Beach State hadn't beaten a top 10 team since 1993–a time when the current players were still learning how to walk.

Long Beach State was the preseason pick to win the Big West, and after tonight's victory, voters might even give them a spot in the top 25.  Defeating a team like Pitt on the road is no easy task– though the 49ers certainly made it look easy.

Long Beach took the lead with 12:39 left in the first half and never looked back.  The lead kept growing and growing, reaching 12 points at one time and never dipping below six.  When Pitt guard Travon Woodall fouled out, all that was left to do was celebrate.

The 49er will be doing plenty of celebrating after their big win, but there is a long-season ahead and lots of games left to be played.  If they want to take home the Big West title and make it to the NCAA tournament, they are going to have to win a lot of those games.

With this team, there's no doubt that they can.

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