March 2, 2013
Long Beach State (17-11, 13-3) dropped a tough one on Saturday evening to UC Irvine (17-13, 10-6), falling to the Anteaters 72-69 in the first of three road games for Long Beach State.
The 49ers had four players score in double-digits, led by Mike Caffey who tallied 23 points, one shy of his career-high. Keala King added 14, all of which came in the second half. James Ennis added 12 for his 33rd-consecutive game in double-digit scoring, while Dan Jennings chipped in 10 and nine rebounds.
"It's very hard to come from behind because your margin for error is a lot smaller," said Head Coach Dan Monson. "We just couldn't put our offense and defense together at the same time and we dug a pretty big hole for ourselves in the first half. The guys battled back, but couldn't quite get over that 11-point deficit."
LBSU opened up the second half on a 10-4 run to close UCI's lead to just three at 37-34, but Irvine would go on a 6-0 run to lead 43-34 five minutes in. LBSU would answer with a 4-0 run to close to 43-38 with 14:14 to play.
King scored six unanswered points to bring the 49ers within 51-50, but UCI would go on a 6-0 run to push its lead to 57-50 with just under six minutes to play. Trailing by four, a lay-in by King, followed by a huge Ennis steal and two-hand slam would tie the game at 63 all with 2:33 to play. UCI broke the tie with a Michael Wilder three and the team then tacked on two more points at the free throw line. Caffey raced back down the court and drained a three to make it a two-point game, 68-66, w/ 22 seconds to play.
UCI then headed back to the charity strip, making both, to lead 70-66 w/ 19.9 seconds to play and as the 49ers went back on offense James Ennis was called for a foul with 13.9 seconds to play, giving Irvine back the ball. After a bad inbounds play, the Anteaters turned the ball over to the 49ers where Caffey knocked down another three to close the game to 70-69 with 3.8 seconds to play. LBSU was forced to foul, putting UCI back at the free throw line where Wilder made both to put the Anteaters up 72-69. A last second half court shot by Caffey could not drop and UC Irvine would win the game.
With The Beach up 15-14, UCI went on a 14-4 run to lead 28-19 late in the second half. A Caffey three-pointer would close the lead to 28-22 with just over one minute to play, but the Anteaters would score five unanswered points to lead 33-22 at the break.
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