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1st-Place 49ers Head to UC Riverside on Thursday

James Ennis

Jan. 16, 2013

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The Last Meeting
UC Riverside40
Long Beach State64
February 25, 2012
Long Beach, Calif.
49ers clinch Big West title outright with win over UC Riverside
Long Beach State wrapped up the outright Big West Conference regular season championship with a 64-40 win over UC Riverside at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday.

The Long Beach State men's basketball team, which is riding a three-game win streak, will travel to UC Riverside on Thursday to take on the Highlanders at 7:00 pm. The 49ers are first in the Big West with a 4-1 record (8-8 on the season), while UC Riverside is currently ninth with a 1-3 record (4-12 on the year).

Long Beach leads the all-time series 28-10 and has won the last six match-ups. The team has not lost in Riverside since the 2010 season.

SCHEDULE CHANGES: The Jan. 30 contest between UCSB and LBSU has been changed to a 9:00 pm start (was 8:00 pm) and will be televised live on ESPNews. Also, the UC Irvine/LBSU game on Saturday, Jan. 26 will no longer be televised. However, Fox Sports PrimeTicket will now broadcast the Cal Poly/LBSU game on Saturday, Feb. 2.

LAST TIME OUT | LBSU 76, HAWAI'I 72: It all came down to the closing seconds despite Long Beach leading by 10 on several occasions during the contest. With the game tied at 72 all, Mike Caffey went down the court and drained the game-winning basket with 1.7 seconds on the clock. After a second technical foul was called on the Hawai'i head coach (causing his ejection), Peter Pappageorge headed to the line to take free throws. Making both, the 49ers would go on to win 76-72.

BIG WEST HONORS FOR CAFFEY: After floating in the game-winning bucket versus Hawai'i, Mike Caffey was named the Big West Player of the Week. Against Hawai'i and CSUN, Caffey averaged 16.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals as the 49ers moved into first-place in the league.

THE 49ERS ON THE INTERNET: Rob Brender will provide play-by-play for the fourth consecutive season. All games can be heard on

LOGGING BIG MINUTES: Although the addition of transfers Keala King and Tony Freeland have added more available bodies for games, Mike Caffey and James Ennis continue to log big minutes. Caffey ranks second (34.2), while Ennis is third (33.1) in the Big West in minutes played. Outside of Long Beach State, only Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge have more than one player averaging 30-plus minutes per contest.

ENNIS DOUBLING UP FOR 21 CONSECUTIVE GAMES: Senior James Ennis is currently riding a 21-game streak of scoring in double-figures, and is one of the leading players for Long Beach State. Overall, he has tallied 29 games with 10 or more points. In 2012, Ennis has scored over 20 points four times, including back-to-back games to close out non-conference play against BYU-Hawaii and UCLA. Ennis is sixth in the league in scoring, and also ranks among the best in the conference in rebounding, averaging 6.9 boards per game (8th), and ranks third in blocked shots at 1.9 per game.

CAFFEY PILOTING THE 49ERS: Sophomore guard Mike Caffey has taken the reins of the 49er offense this season, replacing two-time Big West Conference Player of the Year Casper Ware at point guard. This season, Caffey leads the 49ers with 68 assists and is averaging 12.4 points per game, second on the team. He is currently riding a five-game streak of scoring in double-digits. Caffey also leads the 49ers in steals with 27, and has a 1.4 assist to turnover ratio through 16 games, helped greatly by a career-high nine assists at No. 4 Syracuse. Caffey is also averaging 16.3 points per game in Big West action. As a true freshman, Caffey averaged 5.9 points and 2.2 assists in 21.8 minutes per game. The Riverside, Calif. product finished with a 1.76 assist-to-turnover ratio, handing out 76 assists while only turning the ball over 43 times in 2011-12.

JENNINGS IN THE POST: Junior center Dan Jennings is in his first season playing for Long Beach State after transferring from West Virginia, and has thrived in the Long Beach lineup, scoring in double-figures in six of the last nine games. On the season, Jennings is averaging 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, and has had some of his best performances of the season on the biggest stage. At No. 4 Syracuse, Jennings led the 49ers with a career high 20 points and three blocks while adding seven rebounds, and then scored 16 points and grabbed eight boards at No. 7 Ohio State. Jennings was also one point away from a double-double against No. 11 North Carolina, scoring nine points with a career-best 10 rebounds. In his highest-scoring effort, Jennings scored a career-high 27 points on 13-of-15 shooting at UCLA.

FREELAND & KING THRIVING IN STARTING ROLES: Transfers Tony Freeland (DePaul) and Keala King (Arizona State) became eligible for the Pacific game after sitting out the required year by the NCAA and have been key contributors to the 49ers first-place showing in the Big West. Long Beach State is now 3-0 with both in the starting line-up. Both Freeland and King rank fourth on the team in rebounds per game (5.4), while Freeland is fourth in scoring (9.4) and King is fifth (8.2).

DENG CONTINUES HOT SHOOTING BEHIND THE ARC: Freshman Deng Deng had a huge night against Northridge as he led the team in scoring with a career-high18, which were all scored in the first half. Deng buried five three-pointers during the game, while tallying three blocks for the 49ers. Against Hawai'i, Deng was 4-of-6 from the three-point line, chipping in 12 points en route to another LBSU victory.

PAPPAGEORGE SPOTTING UP: One of the team's captains, Pappageorge has been key down the final minutes of play in the last two games. Against CSUN, Pappageorge drained two back-to-back threes during a 22-4 Long Beach scoring run that would lead to the team's third conference win on the season. In the Hawai'i game, he knocked down three three-pointers and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity strip as the 49ers defeated Hawai'i 76-72. He leads the team with 25 3-pointers made on 32.7% shooting, averaging 7.4 points per game.



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