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The game marked the start of a daunting stretch for the 49ers, who play at defending Mountain West champion San Diego State, No. 8 Louisville, No. 12 Kansas, No. 1 North Carolina and in Hawaii against No. 13 Xavier all before Christmas.
It's all part of coach Dan Monson's plan to have his team tested by the time the 49ers get to conference play in January.
The 49ers certainly looked ready for the challenge to come, racing to a 45-36 halftime lead by lulling the Panthers into playing the kind of up-tempo style that is out of place in leagues such as the Big East.
Long Beach ran, and ran, and then ran some more behind the speedy Ware. Beating Pitt down the floor with stunning regularity, the 49ers turned every Panther mistake into points at the other end of the floor.
It led to Pitt's largest halftime deficit since trailing Tennessee by 12 at the break a year ago. And just like last year, the Panthers couldn't catch up, losing at home to a nonconference opponent for the first time in November and December since the Petersen Events Center opened in 2002.
Pitt had been 80-0 in such games but could do little at the horn but trudge off the floor as the shouts of about two dozen Long Beach State supporters echoed throughout the quiet arena.
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