LBSU advances to Big West Tournament semifinals with 79-69 win over Cal Poly
March 11, 2010
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Nothing has come easy for Long Beach State this year and that was the case again in the quarterfinals of the Big West Conference Tournament on Thursday night.
The Beach built a double-digit first-half lead and then held off a furious Cal Poly rally in the second half eventually holding on for a 79-69 win at the Anaheim Convention Center. LBSU (16-15) advances to the semifinals where the 49ers will play No. 2 seed Pacific at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Long Beach State started the game impressively. After giving up a jumper to Lorenzo Keeler 30 seconds in the game, the 49ers went on a 14-0 run over a 2:15 span to take a 14-2 lead. The Beach pushed the lead to as many as 14 in the first half before settling for a 13-point halftime lead.
The run by the 49ers was impressive. It started with a T.J. Robinson basket before Stephan Gilling canned a three to give the 49ers the lead for good at 5-2. Caper Ware added a bucket and a free throw after being fouled on the play to make it an 8-2 49er lead. Robinson added a pair of free throws before Gilling hit his second 3-pointer of the game to push the lead to 13-2. Larry Anderson finished off the run making 1-of-2 free throws at the 16:26 mark to give LBSU a 12-point lead.
Long Beach State controlled the rest of the half for the most part. The Mustangs (12-19) clawed within five at the 12:46 mark on a couple of free throws by Shawn Lewis, but The Beach answered running off five-straight points to push the lead back to double digits. After a Cal Poly basket cut the lead to eight, Long Beach State scored the next six points to extend its lead to 14, the biggest lead of the first half before taking 43-30 lead to the locker room.
The 49ers were dominant in the first half outscoring Cal Poly 18-8 in the paint and 12-6 off turnovers. The Beach canned 16-of-31 shots and 9-of-12 free throws to build the first half lead.
Cal Poly wouldn't quit. Arturas Lazdauskas gave the 49ers their biggest lead of the game, 45-30, with a basket coming out in the second half. Cal Poly scored the next six points on a 3-pointer by Charles Anderson and a basket and a free throw by Jordan Lewis to cut the lead to 45-36. The Mustangs would eventually get within two at 57-55 at the 10:17 mark on a 3-pointer by Charles Anderson.
This time it was the 49ers who wouldn't quit. They clamped down defensively holding Cal Poly scoreless for the next 6:45 and in the process pushed the lead from two to 13, 68-55. The Mustangs finally snapped the drought with a 3-pointer with 3:32 to play but by then it was too late.
Robinson led four 49ers in double figures with 18 points and eight rebounds. He made 6-of-9 shots and 6-of-9 free throws. Anderson added 16 points, thanks to 12-of-16 shooting at the free throw line, to go with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Gilling had 13 points, while Eugene Phelps finished with 12 points, three rebounds and four blocks.
Long Beach State held Keeler, a first-team All-Big West selection, to just 4-of-18 shooting and 11 points.