49er seniors go out in style with 77-50 win in final home game
Feb. 29, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Things couldn't have gone better on Senior Night for Long Beach State's seven seniors who were playing their last game at the Walter Pyramid. Four scored in double figures and two had career highs while Long Beach State rolled to a 77-50 Big West Conference win on Wednesday night.
Casper Ware, the senior All-American point guard who has started 124 of the 126 games he has played in a LBSU uniform, led the way with 16 points. He also had four assists and four steals.
T.J. Robinson, the double-double machine, finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for his 53rd career double-double.
Larry Anderson, the senior known for his all-around game, had seven rebounds, four assists and three steals to go with five points.
Eugene Phelps, edging closer and closer to becoming the 22nd player in school history to score 1,000 points, scored early and often in the first half and finished with 11 points, bringing him within 11 of the magical number 1,000.
Edis Dervisevic and Sean Starkey, coming off the bench, scoring career highs in their final game at the Pyramid. Dervisevic tied his career high with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, while Starkey set a new career high with eight points in 12 minutes.
Even Corey Jackson, sidelined with an ankle injury and wearing a walking boot, made a token appearance playing the final minute to the delight of his teammates.
The seven seniors combined to score 60 of LBSU's 77 points, while making 25 of the team's 30 field goals.
They helped Long Beach State (22-7, 15-0 Big West) extend its Big West Conference winning streak to 23 games, and its home winning streak to 22 games.
Phelps led Long Beach State to a quick start scoring eight points in the first nine minute to help the 49ers build a 20-6 lead. The 49er forward made 4-of-5 shots in the stretch as LBSU went 9-of-15 from the floor. The 49er defense held UCI (11-18, 6-9 Big West) to 2-of-11 shooting during the same stretch.
The 49ers continued to build the lead by taking the ball inside against the Anteaters. Dervisevic scored six points in the first 12:11 to help push the lead to 26-10. LBSU held a 22-0 points in the paint advantage during that time.
Long Beach State took its biggest lead of the half with seven seconds to play on a layup by Robinson to give the 49ers a 38-20 lead going into the locker room. Six different 49ers scored at least four points before the break with Phelps leading the way with 11. Robinson added seven, Dervisevic six, Ware and Ennis five and Anderson four.
Ware also had three assists and four steals to lead LBSU. The 49ers made 50 percent (17-of-34) of their shots, while holding the Anteaters to 23.3 percent (7-of-30) shooting.
Ware sparked Long Beach State early in the second half helping the 49ers build their lead to as many as 27 before the second media timeout. Ware hit three 3-pointers and a pull up 10-footer to lead the 49ers.
Long Beach State's senior starters returned for a few minutes and then were taken out of the game, one after another on dead balls, to the ovation of the 3,785 49er fans in attendance.