Jan. 9, 2013
In a game that saw 15 lead changes and double-digit deficits, the Long Beach State men's basketball team was able to come out on top, defeating Cal State Northridge 78-69 on Wednesday evening in the Walter Pyramid.
With the win, the 49ers improve to 3-1 in the Big West and 7-8 on the season, while the Matadors remain winless in conference (9-7, 0-4).
"I'm disappointed in our lack of urgency and sharpness," said Head Coach Dan Monson. "We were up by 10 and just gave it away with simple errors, which shows our lack of discipline.
"You have to give credit to Northridge because they were down two of their best players and still out-scrapped us and gave us some problems with their zone.
"We switched to zone in the second half and started to see some more stability and we were able to get some steals and transition baskets. This team could be a really good team, but we have a lot to fix to get there."
The second half saw several lead changes as Northridge took control during the first 10 minutes to lead 55-48 with 10:29 to play. LBSU would answer and go on a 22-4 run to lead 70-59 with 2:24 to play, highlighted by a monster one-handed dunk by James Ennis and two back-to-back threes by Peter Pappageorge. CSUN would only come within nine points in the final minutes as the LBSU lead was too far out of reach at that point.
For the second straight game, the 49ers had four players in double-digits scoring. Deng Deng led the way with a career-high 18 points, which were all scored in the first half, including five three-pointers. Deng also led the team with three blocks. Mike Caffey added 14 points, while Keala King had 13 and Ennis had 10 (his 19th consecutive game in double-digit scoring). King also led the team in rebounding with seven.
Long Beach shot 52% from the field, the second straight game above 50%. The Matadors won the rebound battle, tallying 38 to LBSU's 32.
In the first half, the 49ers were on top by as many as 10, but Northridge would use a 14-0 run to take the lead at 32-28 with 4:32 left to play. A three by King would put the 49ers back on top, but CSUN answered and retook the lead at 38-36. LBSU would eventually go into the halftime break with a 39-38 after three made free throws.
Long Beach shot 50% from the field in the first half, but was out-rebounded 21-16 by the Matadors.
Up next, the 49ers host Hawai'i (9-6, 3-1), who lost their first conference game on Wednesday evening, falling to UC Irvine 68-64. The game tips off at 4:05 pm.
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