49ers clinch Big West title outright with win over UC Riverside
Feb. 25, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Long Beach State wrapped up the outright Big West Conference regular season championship with a 64-40 win over UC Riverside at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday.
Casper Ware scored a game-high 17 points, handed out four assists and had three steals to lead the 49ers to the win. Larry Anderson and Eugene Phelps both added 11 points, while T.J. Robinsonscored 10 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for his 52nd career double-double.
Anderson made his 201st career steal in the first half to set a new career steal record at LBSU. He replaced Lucious Harris, who sent the record from 1989-93 with 200 career steals, as the all-time leader.
Ware led a spirited Long Beach State (21-7, 14-0 Big West) defense against UC Riverside (13-16, 6-9 Big West). The 49ers held the Highlanders to 28.8 percent (17-of-59) shooting, including a 3-for-15 (20 percent) effort from 3-point range. Ware held Phil Martin, the Big West's second leading scorer, to just nine points on 3-of-10 shooting. Martin also had five of UCR's 19 turnovers.
LBSU, who led by as many as 28 points in the second half, never let UCR get closer than 21 points after the break half after taking a 23-point lead into the locker room.
The 49ers made 43.1 percent (25-of-58) of their field goals, while out-rebounding the Highlanders by 10 (44-34). LBSU also had 10 steals, with seven players getting at least one.
The 49ers opened the game efficiently on offense building a 14-point lead, 19-5, behind Ware and Anderson who both scored seven points in the impressive start.
The 49ers built the lead to 26-8 on a break-away slam dunk by Anderson forcing UCR to burn its second timeout with 10:01 to play in the half. Ware had 10 points, while Anderson added nine for the 49ers in the first 10 minutes.
The 49ers forced eight early turnovers leading to a 13-0 advantage off turnovers in the opening 12:03, while outscoring the Highlanders 10-2 in the paint during the same stretch.
LBSU extended the lead to as many as 20 a couple times in the half with Phelps giving the 49ers a 32-12 lead on a nice move at the rim.
Riverside got back within 16, 32-16, but the 49ers ended the half with a 9-2 run to take a 41-18 lead into the locker room.
Ware led LBSU with 13 first-half points, on 5-of-10 shooting, and three assists. Anderson added 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Robinson had eight first-half rebounds to lead LBSU to a nine-board rebounding advantage.
LBSU made 48.4 percent (15-of-31) of its shots, while holding UCR to just 32 percent (8-of-25). The 49ers also forced 13 turnovers, with six coming of steals. Long Beach State outscored UC Riverside 16-2 off turnovers, including 11-0 in transition, and 14-6 in the paint.