Dec. 3, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Senior James Ennis set career highs with 23 points and 13 rebounds, the second double-double of his career, but the 49ers surrendered a halftime lead and fell at home to Fresno State 64-59.
Shooting 55 percent in the first half, Long Beach State (3-4) would take a six point lead into halftime, and led by as many as eight points despite surrendering nine offensive rebounds in the half to Fresno State (4-3). The 49ers would end up out-rebounding the Bulldogs on the day 38-34, but shooting struggles in the second half doomed the 49ers.
Tied at 19-19 with 6:51 left in the first half, a pair of Ennis free throws started a 10-2 run for the 49ers, capped a three-pointer by Deng Deng giving the 49ers a 29-21 lead. After a breakaway dunk by Nick Sheperd, a pair of late Bulldog free throws made the score 31-25 in favor of the 49ers as both teams headed to the locker room.
The second half was a reversal of the first however, as the 49ers shot under 30 percent while allowing 51.9 shooting from the Bulldogs in the second half. A jumper by Kevin Olekaibe tied the game at 37-37 with 15:23 to play, and after a Kyle Richardson basket on the LBSU end, a three from Tyler Johnson gave Fresno State its first lead since the opening minutes.
Johnson, who led the Bulldogs with 19 points, hit another three just before the 12-minute mark to give Fresno State the lead for good. Trailing by seven at 53-46, the 49ers cut the lead to three points with six minutes to play on a jumper from Ennis, and once more with two minutes to play after a pair of free throws from Deng Deng. That was as close as the 49ers would get however, with a 3-pointer from Allen Huddleston extending the lead for the Bulldogs, and a Johnson dunk giving the Bulldogs an eight-point lead which would hold.
Deng also finished in double-figures for Long Beach State, as the freshman added 11, going 3-for-5 both from the field and from the line.
Long Beach State heads to the road this week for two games, playing at No. 4 Syracuse on Thursday before facing No. 7 Ohio State on Saturday. The next home game for the 49ers is on December 15, when Long Beach State hosts BYU-Hawaii at 4:05 p.m.
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