Jan. 12, 2013
LONG BEACH -- Some last second heroics by Mike Caffey and the Long Beach State men's basketball team helped the 49ers notch their third consecutive Big West win and hit the .500 mark on the season as they defeated Hawai'i, 76-72, on Saturday evening.
During the second half, the 49ers led by as many as 10 points on two occasions, but a scrappy Hawai'i team battled back each time, eventually tying the game at 72 all with just over one minute to play.
After Dan Jennings missed two free throws, the Warriors were back on offense, but a foul and turnover on Hawai'i's Davis Rozitis was called, giving the ball back to LBSU.
After an inbound pass from Tony Freeland, Caffey took the ball down the court with his eye on the clock and the basket. With two seconds to play, Caffey floated the ball into the net, putting Long Beach up 74-72. A technical foul was then issued to Hawai'i Head Coach Gib Arnold, his second of the game, and he was ejected from the court. Peter Pappageorge headed to the line to shoot the two free throws, draining both as LBSU would lead 75-72 with just .9 seconds to play. With no chance for Hawai'i to score, the 49ers got the win and improved to 8-8 (4-1 Big West) on the season. Hawai'i fell to 9-7 (3-2 Big West).
"We haven't been in a close game like that this season," said Head Coach Dan Monson. "There are stretches in the game where we are up by 10 and then let the other team back in. It doesn't seem like our guys have that sense of urgency to take the throat of your opponent and end it.
"When you make threes early, you tend to settle for them late and we just weren't making those shots. We struggled to get the ball inside and our guys were getting frustrated. You can't let a bad play get you down. You just have to move on and keep playing. This is still only the second week that these guys have all played together so we are still working on some things."
For the third consecutive game, four 49ers scored in double-digits, led by Caffey, who tallied 18 points, four rebounds, six assists and two steals. Pappageorge had a big game as he was 3-of-5 from the three-point line and a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity strip to pick up 15 points. James Ennis posted his 21st consecutive double-digit game, chipping in 11 points and eight rebounds. Deng Deng, who had a career-high 18 points against CSUN, added 12 tonight after making 4-of-6 three-pointers.
In the first half, LBSU jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but Hawai'i would go on a 14-2 run to lead 14-7 with 13 minutes to play. Long Beach would answer with their own run as they used a 16-4 scoring drive to lead 23-18 with nine minutes to play. Hawai'i took the lead at 27-26, but Long Beach would pull away with a 12-1 run to lead 38-28 with 4:34 remaining. They would go into the halftime break up 43-36.
The 49ers next take on UC Riverside on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 4:05 pm and then Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 6:05 pm.
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