Feb. 9, 2013
The men's basketball team got back in the win column on Saturday night behind an impressive second half performance in which the team rallied from an 11-point deficit to win 83-80 over Cal State Northridge. Long Beach improved to 14-9 (10-2 Big West), while CSUN fell to 13-12 (4-9 Big West).
The 49ers had four players score in double-digits, led by Mike Caffey who scored 20 of his team-high 22 points in the second half. James Ennis recorded his 27th-consecutive double-digit game and his fourth double-double of the season, picking up 21 points and 10 rebounds. Peter Pappageorge chipped in five three-pointers for 15 points, while Dan Jennings added 11 points and seven rebounds.
As a team, the 49ers shot 62% from the field and 67% from the three-point line in the second half. They shot 49% overall for the game. CSUN out-rebounded the 49ers 40-34 in the game.
"This was a huge win for us," said Head Coach Dan Monson. "You can only define a team by how they respond after losing a game like we did in Hawai'i. You either fall apart as a team, or come together and win. That is what we did tonight. We showed a lot of character and who we are as a team. We were down 11 and came together. It's a real turning point for this team."
LBSU opened up the second half on a 16-4 run as the 49ers were 4-for-4 from the three-point line to lead 44-43 four minutes into the game. The two teams then traded the lead eight times before CSUN went up 55-51 with 11 minutes to play.
With Northridge up 63-59, LBSU went on a 6-0 run to take the lead at 65-63 with seven minutes to play. CSUN retook the lead at 66-65 with just over five minutes to play, but a Caffey lay-in would put the Beach back up by one (67-66, 4:47 left). An Ennis bucket would push the 49ers ahead 69-66 with 3:50 remaining. A long-range three by Caffey as the shot clock expired would put LBSU up 72-68 with 2:49 to play.
With LBSU up by three, CSUN would knock down a three as the shot clock expired to tie the game at 73 all with 1:44 to play. Caffey would get a jumper to fall, putting the 49ers back up by two, but CSUN would tie the game at 75 with just under a minute to play. Caffey again had an answer, as he knocked down another three to put LBSU up 78-75 with 38.4 left on the clock.
After a Matador air ball, the 49ers got the ball back and Caffey headed to the line to shoot free throws after being fouled. Making both, LBSU went up 80-75 with 22 seconds to play. CSUN then closed to 82-80 with 10.2 to play after knocking down a three. Long Beach's King then headed to the free throw line after being fouled and made 1-of-2 to make it a three-point game with seconds to play as the 49ers would go on to win the game 83-80.
Long Beach led by as many as seven points in the first half, but the Matadors closed out the first 20 minutes on a 13-0 run, capped off by a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give them a 39-28 lead at the break.
Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid on Wednesday, Feb. 13 when they take on Cal State Fullerton. The game will be televised live on ESPNU at 8:00 pm. The team then hosts UC Riverside on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4:05 pm.
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