Dec. 29, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State welcomed in two transfers into the lineup, as Tony Freeland and Keala King joined The Beach in the Big West opener against Pacific, and the pair helped the 49ers to a 67-63 win over Pacific on Saturday. Freeland scored 15 points in 35 minutes, while stalwarts Mike Caffey and James Ennis each added 19 for the 49ers.
With the new pieces in the 49er lineup, it took Long Beach State (5-7, 1-0 Big West) a while to get going in the first half, starting the game in a 2-for-10 shooting drought while Pacific (6-7, 0-1 Big West) opened up a nine-point lead at 17-8 despite strong defense from the 49ers. Down 25-14 after a Trevin Harris 3-pointer with 2:53 to go in the half, the 49ers made a late push, as Caffey hit a layup to cut into the lead, and Freeland scored the final three of his nine first-half points to close out the half with LBSU trailing 26-21.
Down 35-28 in the second, Ennis hit a 3-pointer that kick-started a 12-3 run for the 49ers that got the team back in the game. After the three, Ennis stole the ball at the top of the key and raced away for a reverse jam to cut the lead to two points, and a 3-pointer by Caffey gave the 49ers their first lead of the game with six minutes gone in the second half.
Caffey, who finished 3-for-5 from beyond the arc, hit another 3-pointer to give Long Beach State a 47-44 lead to put the 49ers in front for good, as Long Beach State eventually pushed the lead to 10 points after a three-point play converted by Dan Jennings.
Pacific switched to a press to keep things close, cutting the lead to two points with 28 seconds remaining after another 3-pointer from Harris, but Peter Pappageorge made a free throw to stop a cold stretch from the line, and after a steal, King canned one of two from the line to put Long Beach State up by four points at 67-63.
The 49ers had four players in double-figures, as Ennis and Caffey shared the scoring lead for the 49ers with 19 each, while Freeland added 15 and Jennings finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Lorenzo McCloud and Harris each finished with 13 for Pacific.
Big West play continues for the 49ers next week, as Long Beach State travels to Cal Poly on Thursday before facing UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. The Jan. 5 contest against the Gauchos will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.
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