Feb. 8, 2013
Long Beach State's eight-game win streak was snapped on Thursday evening as the 49ers fell to Hawai'i 94-73 in Honolulu. LBSU still stands in first-place at 13-9 (9-2), while Hawai'i improved to 14-9 and 8-4 in Big West play.
Down by 33 at the half, the 49ers switched their defense to full court pressure, which helped the team begin to cut away at the Warriors' huge lead. Assisted by 15 second-half steals (19 in all), the 49ers closed Hawaii's lead to 14 on a few occasions, but each time they started to gain ground, the Warriors would again pull away.
"The game was over after the first half," said Head Coach Dan Monson. "Any time you are down by 33, you know the game is pretty much over. You have to give a lot of credit to Hawai'i because they were prepared mentally, played more aggressively and with a log of energy. They basically ended the game after 20 minutes of play. It's probably the best first half of basketball I've seen any team play in a long time."
Long Beach shot 53.3% in the second half, much improved from their first half percentage of 20, but Hawai'i killed the 49ers on the boards, grabbing 46 to LBSU's 21. The 49ers had four players in double digits led by Tony Freeland, who tallied a season-high 18. He also led the team in rebounding with seven. Keala King tallied 14 points and five steals, while James Ennis had 13 points and six steals (equaling his career-high). With his 13 points, Ennis extended his double-digit scoring streak to 27 games. Mike Caffey rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12. Both teams combined for 68 free throw attempts in the game.
The 49ers had no answer to the Warriors' hot shooting in the first half as Hawai'i shot 59% from the field (20-of-34) and 58% from the three-point line (7-of-12). LBSU shot just 20% (5-of-25) as Hawai'i went into the halftime break up 53-20, the most points LBSU has given up in a first half this season.
The 49ers continue their road trip on Saturday when they head to Northridge to face the Matadors (13-11, 4-8) at 7:00 pm on Sunday. Cal State Northridge defeated UC Irvine on Thursday evening, 70-61.
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