Jan. 25, 2014
Long Beach, Calif. - With Hall of Fame coach and former 49er leader Jerry Tarkanian in the house, Long Beach State rolled to a 76-62 victory over Cal State Northridge, extending the 49ers' winning streak over the Matadors to nine straight games.
Junior Mike Caffey led the 49ers with 23 points, along with seven rebounds and four assists, while Dan Jennings had a perfect night from the field, picking up a double-double on 6-for-6 shooting. Jennings scored 14 points with 10 rebounds, and also went 2-for-2 from the line in a critical 1-and-1 situation in the second half.
Both teams got off to a slow start, but with the school's tied at 10-10, a lob inside to Stephen Maxwell started a 7-0 run for Cal State Northridge (10-11, 2-4 Big West). CSUN continued to work inside to the junior, who passed 1,000 career points in the contest, and held the 49ers off until the 5:29 mark in the first, when a breakaway layup by Caffey tied the score at 27-27.
Caffey converted the and-one free throw, and hit a 3-pointer for the next points of the game as Long Beach State (7-12, 3-2 Big West) would eventually open up an 8-point advantage at 37-29 with 2:35 remaining in the first half. A late jumper by Landon Drew helped the Matadors pull within three at the half.
Fast-paced action marked the start of the second half, with both teams racing down the floor and Cal State Northridge eventually regaining the lead on a Drew 3-pointer at 51-50. The 49ers answered with a 3-pointer from Tyler Lamb, but the Matadors held the lead with 11:21 to play after a pair of free throws by J.J. Thomas.
Caffey answered to put the 49ers back on top, and then Jennings was fouled in the bonus, but the senior, shooting 38.6 percent from the line entering the game, canned both shots to extend the LBSU lead. Turning to the bench prior to the under-eight media timeout, the 49ers got big minutes from Christian Griggs-Williams, who had a couple big rebounds, as well as redshirt freshman Branford Jones. Jones hit a pair of circus lay-ins to help bring the Long Beach State lead to seven points with 6:44 remaining.
Out of the timeout, the starters, fresh from their break, returned to the floor and commanded play the rest of the way, extending the lead to 11 points with 4:54 remaining and never letting the 49er advantage slip below nine points.
Tarkanian was in attendance as the former 49er head coach was honored at halftime. The LBSU head coach from 68-69 to 72-73, Tarkanian led the 49ers to the NCAA Tournament four times, and never lost a home game in his five seasons at the helm at Long Beach State.
The 49ers continue Big West play on Thursday, traveling to Hawai'i to face the Rainbow Warriors on Thursday at 9 p.m. PT.
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