March 6, 2014
Northridge, Calif. - Long Beach State had the offense to pull off a road win Thursday at Cal State Northridge, but the Matadors went to the line 39 times, and foul trouble along with defensive issues plagued the 49ers in a 91-83 loss.
Tyler Lamb led the 49ers with 22 points, including a season-high five 3-pointers, while Mike Caffey added 19, Branford Jones scored 17 off of the bench, and Dan Jennings put up his third straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to highlight the Long Beach State (13-16, 9-6 Big West) effort.
However, Cal State Northridge (15-17, 7-9 Big West) was able to match Long Beach State the whole way, finishing with 34 points in the paint, and more importantly to the contest, 34 points from the free throw line. In all, Long Beach State would receive 28 fouls, and both Caffey and Travis Hammonds were forced into early exits.
Stephan Hicks led the way for the Matadors, scoring a game-high 28 points, shooting 13-for-13 from the charity stripe.
Long Beach State would lead the game through most of the first half, but foul trouble eventually shortened the 49er bench to troublesome levels, as Dan Jennings picked up 3 fouls, and five other 49ers had a pair.
That included Caffey, who picked up his second foul with 13:49 left in the first half, but Jones came on and played well, scoring 13 first-half points and putting Long Beach State back on top 33-32 with 4:07 left in the first.
The Matadors would end the half with a five-point lead, taking advantage of a quick shot on the offensive end, and never trailed the rest of the way.
Long Beach State made one final push in the second half, closing the gap to one point with 7 minutes to play after a breakaway basket by Jennings and a drive from Jones at 69-68, but Cal State Northridge extended their lead back to three points at the line on the way to taking a nine-point lead.
Some late 3-pointers from Lamb kept the 49ers within a possession in the final minute, but the Matadors made eight straight free throws to end the game.
Locked into the No. 3 seed for the Big West Tournament, the regular season ends for Long Beach State this Saturday, as the 49ers return home for Senior Night, honoring Dan Jennings and Edgar Garibay following the conclusion of their game with UC Riverside. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
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