Feb. 6, 2014
Irvine, Calif. - A late chance to tie the game at the buzzer fell short, and Long Beach State dropped a 61-58 decision on the road at UC Irvine. Freshman Travis Hammonds finished with his first career double-double for the 49ers, while Dan Jennings finished with 14 points to lead the 49ers.
Long Beach State (9-13, 5-3 Big West) ultimately out-rebounded the Anteaters, winning the battle on the glass 42-37, led by Hammonds who finished with 10 rebounds to go with 10 points on the day along with three assists. Jennings also added seven rebounds and David Samuels finished with six rebounds, as the two upperclassmen paired to defend 7'6" Mamadou Ndiaye.
The 49ers did a good job on the UC Irvine redwood offensively, holding the freshman to eight points, but fellow freshman Luke Nelson carried the Anteaters to the win, scoring 28 points to lead all scorers.
Both teams battled through the first half, with neither side holding an edge larger than four points while heading to the break tied at 31-31. Long Beach State regained the lead on a basket from Jennings at 35-33, and eventually opened the spread as large as five at 49-44 on a layup by A.J. Spencer, challenging Ndiaye inside.
Long Beach State went cold after that basket, and while neither team scored a field goal for over two minutes in that stretch, the 49ers struggles continued in a 12-0 run that put UC Irvine up for good as the Anteaters took their largest lead of the contest at 56-49.
A Hammonds 3-pointer cut into the UC Irvine lead, and Long Beach State was within a point after a clutch 3-pointer from Tyler Lamb at 58-57 with 1:24 remaining. Nelson was able to answer at the end of the shot clock however, and a final chance for Lamb at the buzzer to send the game to overtime went off the iron.
Long Beach State continues their local road trip this Saturday. The 49ers head to UC Riverside, facing the Highlanders at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.
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