Monson Claims Wins Record As Caffey, Yussuf Avenge Xavier Loss In Wooden Legacy
Caffey scored 24 points and Yussuf added 15 with 5 rebounds and two blocks in a 73-70 win.
Anaheim, Calif. - Long Beach State exacted a measure of revenge, defeating Xavier 73-70 in the second meeting this season between the teams, finishing third in the DirecTV Wooden Legacy. With the win, Beach head coach Dan Monson passed Jerry Tarkanian for the most wins at LBSU, claiming victory No. 123 with the 49ers.
Long Beach State lost earlier this season on the road at Xavier in a non-bracketed game of this tournament, 97-74 on the road, and it was the defense that was stressed following that loss. That work paid off for the 49ers as Long Beach State actually scored one fewer point than in Cincinnati, but held the Musketeers to 70 points in the win.
In all, the Beach held Xavier to 2-of-16 shooting from three, while shooting 10-of-22 (45.5%) themselves, including 8-of-11 in the second half. Mike Caffey led the 49ers with 24 points, his third 20 point performance of the season. Tyler Lamb added 16, Branford Jones had 13, and Temidayo Yussuf finished out his strong tournament performance with 15 points and five rebounds.
"I'm excited right now with this ballclub because of their improvement," said Monson following the game. "A win like this is significant against a great Big East team, and it was really significant because [our team] needed to see some success with change. It's one thing to get better, but if you keep losing these tough games, you can lose confidence in the process."
Both teams had a nightmarish start in the first half, as Long Beach State scoring just six points in the first 10 minutes, shooting under 20 percent. Xavier wasn't much better, opening up a 10-6 lead. In all, neither team shot over 40 percent in the first half, while combining to go 2-17 from three as the Musketeers went into the break leading by three at 28-25.
Long Beach State found Yussuf under the basket to open the second half, and then found their stroke from beyond the arc, as Lamb and Caffey combined to make the next four shots from three the 49ers took, taking a 43-39 lead.
Xavier moved back in front with at 61-60 on a layup from Matt Stainbrook, who led the Musketeers with 19 points, but a huge 3-pointer from Jones put Long Beach State back in the lead. Yussuf was good for points on the next three trips down the floor, and after a pair of free throw makes from Samuels, Long Beach State led by eight points with one minute to play at 71-63.
Two empty trips to the foul line late in the game from Samuels left the door open for Xavier, but a big block from Samuels kept the 49ers in front. A late heave from Myles Davis went wide and the Beach held on for the victory.
Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid Wednesday, hosting Nevada in a 7 p.m. tipoff.
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