Feb. 22, 2013
The Long Beach State men's basketball team (17-10) ended the home season with a loss on Friday night, falling to Stephen F. Austin (24-3) in a Ramada Worldwide Bracketbuster game, 68-60.
It was the final game for two seniors - James Ennis and Peter Pappgeorge, who were both honored on the court after the game with framed jerseys.
Mike Caffey led the team in scoring with 24 points, while Ennis tallied his 32-consecutive game in double-digits, scoring 12 points. He also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds to notch his sixth double-double of the season.
"As a coach and competitor, you never like to lose," said Head Coach Dan Monson. "But in the whole scope of the season, this game doesn't make or break us. The Bracketbuster gives you a chance to see something new out of conference play and exposes you to other teams you don't normally face, which can help you down the road when the tournament comes around.
"This game showed us that we can't rely on individual talent alone. We just aren't good enough individually to win against good teams, and Stephen F. Austin was a really good team."
The 49ers were facing a tough Lumberjack team that boasts one of the top defenses in the country. In the first half, the 49ers struck first, but the Jacks quickly took the lead and led by as many as nine points. Long Beach clawed itself back into the game, retaking the lead with 24 seconds until halftime, 29-28, but Stephen F. Austin would go into the break up 31-30.
The Lumberjacks went on a 9-2 run early in the second half to lead 42-36 with just under 15 minutes to play. They then extended their lead to 12 points with five minutes left on the clock. Long Beach closed it to within nine after a spectacular dunk by Ennis, but the Lumberjacks again pushed their lead to 12.
Back-to-back buckets by Caffey would bring The Beach within seven (58-65) with just over one minute to play. The 49ers then had to resort to fouling as Stephen F. Austin would go back up by nine. Free throws by Pappageorge closed the game to seven with 39 seconds to play, but the 49ers would come no closer as the Jacks went on to win 68-60.
The 49ers shot 44% from the field, while Stephen F. Austin shot 57%. The Lumberjacks edged out LBSU in rebounding, 31-30.
Long Beach will not play a game for eight days, heading to UC Irvine on March 2 for the first of its three final games of the regular season.
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