Phelps joins 1,000-point club, leads 49ers into Big West Tournament semifinals
March 8, 2012
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Eugene Phelpsled five 49ers in double figures as Long Beach State handed UC Davis an 80-46 loss in the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament at the Honda Center on Thursday.
Phelps also became the 22nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points during the game. The 49er senior entered the game needing three points to reach the milestone and didn't waste any time scoring a pair of baskets in the first three minutes of the game. He joined current 49er teammates Casper Ware, Larry Anderson and T.J. Robinsonin the exclusive club.
Phelps finished the game making 8-of-12 field goals while grabbing five boards. Robinson added 12 points and eight rebounds, while Ware, James Ennis and Peter Pappageorge(career high) each scored 11 points.
Mike Caffey, making his first career start in place of the injured Anderson, had eight points, four rebounds and four assists (no turnovers) in 29 minutes.
Long Beach State (23-8) held a 31-0 advantage in points off turnovers, forcing 20 Aggies' turnovers. LBSU committed just six turnovers, while handing out 15 assists.
Eddie Miller led UC Davis (5-26) with 17 points.
The 49ers jumped out to an 11-2 lead making 4-of-7 shots. Phelps and Robinson had four early, while Caffey added a three.
UC Davis hung around cutting the lead to four, 14-10, with 11:14 to play. The 49ers helped the Aggies' cause making just one of their next six shots.
Defensive pressure helped LBSU build its lead back to nine, 21-12, with 7:41 to play. The Aggies committed eight turnovers in the first 12:19.
Long Beach took control over the next five minutes with a 17-5 run highlighted by Phelps. The 49er forward, who scored a career-high 23 points in both of the 49ers' games against Davis this season, had nine of the 17 points.
The 49ers extended the run to 21-11 to take a 20-point lead, 41-21, into the locker room.
Phelps scored 15 in the half, while Ware had nine. The 49ers connected on 53.3 percent (16-of-3) of their shots, while holding UCD to 36.4 percent (8-of-22). The Aggies also turned the ball over 11 times, leading to a 19-0 points off turnovers advantage for LBSU.
The 49ers extended the lead to as many as 37 late in the second half, and UC Davis never got closer than 18 after the break.
Long Beach State advances to the semifinals where it will play UC Irvine at 6:30 Friday at the Honda Center.
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