March 15, 2012
PORTLAND, Ore. - Casper Wareled four Long Beach State players in double figures, but it wasn't enough as New Mexico handed the 49ers a 75-68 loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in the Rose Garden on Thursday.
James Ennis added 13 points, while T.J. Robinson had his 55th career double-double (12 points-14 rebounds). Freshman Mike Caffeyscored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting for the 49ers, who finish their season 25-9.
The 49ers took a 61-59 with 4:57 to play on dunk by Ennis, but New Mexico (28-6) answered with a 7-0 run to take a five-point lead.
LBSU cut the lead to two, 68-66, on a Caffey 3-pointer, but the 49ers could never get any closer.
"I thought it was a hard played, good college basketball game," Long Beach State coach Dan Monsonsaid. "They made more plays, more free throws, and did good things down the stretch just a little better than we did."
The 49ers opened the game with a 5-0 run with a basket by Eugene Phelpsand a 3-pointer by Ware, but it took LBSU over three minutes to do it. Both teams struggled with NCAA nerves early with neither team scoring in the first three minutes, while combining for 14 turnovers in the first five minutes.
The 49ers built the lead to six, 8-2, on another three by Ware, but New Mexico answered with a 9-2 run to take the lead.
The two teams exchanged the lead seven times in the first half, while the score was tied five times. The Lobos took a 33-29 lead into the locker room after making 12-of-24 shots. LBSU answered going 13-of-27 from the floor (48.1 percent), but connected on just 1-of-5 free throws.
New Mexico built the lead to as many as eight in the second half, 51-43, but Long Beach State answered with 6-0 run to get back within two.
Ware finished with a game-high six assists, while Ennis had five. Drew Gordon led UNM with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
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