Feb. 16, 2013
Long Beach State (16-9, 12-2) easily took care of UC Riverside (2-11, 5-20) on Saturday evening, extending its win streak to three games to remain in command of the Big West lead.
With the win, the 49ers also extended their home conference winning streak to 25 games. Tony Freeland led the team with 14 points, his second straight game in double-digits. James Ennis chipped in 12 as he posted his 30th-consecutive game in double-digits. Ennis also added four assists, three steals and three rebounds. Deng Deng added 10 off the bench, breaking a field goal scoring drought that dated back to Jan. 19 against Cal State Fullerton. Deng also added five rebounds, which tied for the team-high with Freeland.
LBSU shot 52.9% from the field, its third-best percentage of the season. They out-rebounded an opponent for the second straight game, besting the Highlanders 34-30. UCR shot just 23.9% from the field and their 35 points was the fewest allowed by a 49er team since 1980 when UC Irvine scored just 26 points.
The game got off to a slow start and after UCR tied the game at 12, the 49ers would go on an 8-0 run to lead 20-12. They then extended their lead to 14 points and went into the half up 31-19.
In the second half, it was all Long Beach as Riverside could not get any shots to fall. With the clock at 10:07 and LBSU up 53-33, the 49ers would go on a 22-0 run as they would shut out the Highlanders from scoring for over eight minutes. UCR finally got a basket with 1:19 to play, but by then the game was long over as LBSU went on to win 75-35.
"The most encouraging thing is that we're getting better each game," said Head Coach Dan Monson. "Everything is starting to point towards the tournament in March and we are really starting to play our best hoops right now. Consistency is crucial right now and we just played our best ball in back-to-back games and that is encouraging."
The 49ers will play their final two home games of the season this coming week as UC Davis comes to town on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7:05 pm and then LBSU faces Stephen F. Austin on Friday, Feb. 22 at 6:00 pm (ESPNU, Ramada Worldwide Bracketbuster game).
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