UCLA senior guard Michael Roll put his hands on his knees and dropped his head as Long Beach State dribbled out the clock’s final seconds. Roll played 104 minutes over the course of four days and had nothing to show for it.

After losing three straight games in one weekend, his coach ““ the architect of three consecutive UCLA Final Four appearances ““ expressed how it feels to be embroiled in one of the worst stretches in the program’s recent history.

“We don’t expect to lose ever,” coach Ben Howland said. “This is really hard.”

Anyone well-versed in college basketball knew that the opponents waiting for UCLA at this year’s 76 Classic would be tough. Few probably expected the Bruins to emerge from the weekend with three straight losses.

In its final game on Sunday morning at the Anaheim Convention Center, UCLA (2-4) could not stop Long Beach State (4-3) and lost 79-68.

Following a devastating defeat at the hands of Portland, a 74-47 blowout on Thursday night, and a loss to No. 12 Butler, a 69-67 thriller on Friday, UCLA was trying to salvage a win against the only other team without a victory in the tournament.

But UCLA would find no joy just across the street from Disneyland.

“It’s no fun,” Howland said afterward.

The end result was the product of a destructive start to the second half. Despite trailing by just one at the half, UCLA missed its first nine straight 3-pointers, while Long Beach went on a 27-11 run to garner a 17-point lead, its largest of the game.

Senior forward Nikola Dragovic missed all six of his long-range attempts in the game, bringing his 3-point average to just 17 percent on the season. The team missed 17 of its 20 overall.

“And a number of open ones, too,” Howland added.

Howland knew Long Beach would be competitive, making sure to say before and after the game that the team had a good chance at making the NCAA tournament. But he still could not defeat the 49ers’ offensive attack.

Long Beach sophomore forward T.J. Robinson slashed into the lane time and time again, scoring a game-high 25 points, the most by any player facing UCLA this season. The Bruin guards were unable to slow down their quicker 49er counterparts, and it showed on the scoreboard.

“We got hurt in the transition defense (in our loss) against Fullerton and now again against Long Beach in a big way,” Howland said.

Before this season, teams from the Big West Conference were a combined 5-61 against UCLA all-time; Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton were a combined 0-20. After Sunday, both have added a win to that record.

“It’s a good step for our program,” 49er coach Dan Monson said. “When you’re Long Beach State, living down the street (from UCLA), this means a lot to our guys.”

UCLA sophomore forward Drew Gordon saw just 12 minutes on the floor, his fewest of the year, after getting into foul trouble early, which put freshman Reeves Nelson onto the court for most of the game.

Nelson had 11 points and eight rebounds, but Howland was still pushing for his young forward to shore up mistakes.

“He still has a ton to learn at both ends of the floor, but he got out there and competed,” Howland said.

One of the Bruins’ most obvious deficiencies this tournament has been their shooting from the free-throw line. Howland said the team spent half an hour on Saturday, the tournament’s off day, practicing free throws at six different baskets, but in the game they still shot 11 for 22.

“It’s really disappointing because we’re trying to focus on it, and we still don’t seem to be able to knock them down,” Howland said.

UCLA has not lost three straight games since January 2005, and a fourth is in jeopardy considering its next opponent, No. 1 Kansas.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Howland said. “We’re playing the number one team in the country in our next game.”

For full stories on the Portland and Butler games from this weekend, please visit dailybruin.com/categories/sports