Feb. 13, 2013
In front of a raucous crowd dressed in black, the first-place Long Beach State 49ers (15-9, 11-2) stymied the No. 4 scoring offense in the country, defeating Cal State Fullerton 85-65 on Wednesday night. Fullerton, who came into the game averaging 81.8 points per game was held to just 29 second half points and 65 for the game. The victory also gave Head Coach Dan Monson win No. 100 at LBSU and marked the first time in his career at Long Beach that he has swept Cal State Fullerton in a season.
Tonight's win also extends Long Beach's home conference win streak to 24 games.
During a seven minute span in the second half, the 49ers went on a 25-3 run to lead 71-49 with nine minutes to play, effectively putting the game out of reach for the Titans.
"The way this team played during that stretch in the second half is exactly how I envisioned this team could be," said Monson. "We played our best ball of the year - offensively, defensively and rebounding. The biggest thing I told the guys is now it's all about consistency. You don't make it to NCAAs playing 10 great minutes of ball. You need 120 consistent minutes."
Long Beach had five players score in double-digits led by double-double performances from James Ennis and Tony Freeland. Ennis tallied a team-high 26 points and equaled his career-high for rebounds with a team-high 15. The senior also added four steals in the win. His 26 points marked the 29th-consecutive game he has scored in double-digits. He has scored 20 points or more in eight games this season and has recorded five double-doubles. Freeland notched a career-high for rebounds with 12, while chipping in 13 points. Dan Jennings (12), Peter Pappageorge (12) and Keala King (10) rounded out the 49ers scoring in double-digits.
"James is playing at a different level right now," added Monson. "It was also great to see Tony bounce back from an off game at Northridge. Dan Jennings also did a good job. No one could defend him when he got in the post."
The team posted a season-high of 35 field goals made, while shooting their second-best field goal percentage of the season (51.5%). The 49ers grabbed 49 rebounds, second-most this season, and out-rebounded the Titans 49-30. Long Beach's 85 points scored were the second-most put up by the team this season.
"James, Tony and Dan set the tone with the rebounding and it was great to see us finally getting boards we needed to."
(On winning game No. 100 at LBSU) "I didn't know I was at 100 until James (Ennis) said something earlier today," said Monson. "It just means I've been able to stick around here for a while. That kind of milestone is all about longevity and it means I'm getting old. I'm sure it will mean something more to me later, but I would trade all those wins for this one we got tonight."
In the first half, the 49ers never trailed and went into the break up 42-36 as Ennis lead the team with 15 points and eight rebounds. LBSU shot 49% from the field, while CSUF shot 34%.
The 49ers return to action on Saturday in the Walter Pyramid as they host UC Riverside (5-19, 2-10) at 4:05 pm. Riverside fell to UC Irvine 52-48 on Wednesday night.
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