Road Trip Continues For Long Beach State At Cal Poly
Jan. 17, 2014
Long Beach, Calif. -
Game: Long Beach State at Cal Poly
The 49ers have their work cut out for them - after a 64-51 loss at UCSB, Long Beach State heads to Cal Poly, who own a 3-0 record thus far in Big West play.
Tyler Lamb, a junior transfer from UCLA, became eligible for the 49ers on December 19, and has immediately had a huge impact. Lamb scored 20 points off of the bench against USC, helping the 49ers earn their first win over a Pac-12 opponent at home since 1999 in a 72-71 win. Lamb has scored in double-figures in six of seven games he's played with the 49ers, and is averaging a team-high 16.4 points per game.
Since the arrival of Travis Hammonds and Tyler Lamb, success hasn't been too far away; defensively, the team has been competitive, making the team's offensive output the key to victory. The key number is shooting 35%; Since Dec. 19, the team is 4-0 when passing that number while going 0-3 when shooting under that mark.
The 49ers have cleaned up their ball-handling over their last 10 games, and it has resulted in better success on the floor. After averaging almost 15 turnovers per game in the first five contests, Long Beach State has averaged 10.0 turnovers per game, nearly five less per game after their 1-4 start.
Senior Dan Jennings continues to put up big numbers for the 49ers in his final season. Jennings ranks fourth in the Big West in rebounding with 7.4 rebounds per game, and is third on the 49ers with 10.0 points per game. Three times Jennings has led the 49ers in scoring, and has topped the team in rebounding nine times in 2013-14.
After scoring 12 points against Loyola Marymount, junior A.J. Spencer has secured a spot in the starting lineup, scoring in double-figures in eight of the last 13 games. The junior college transfer scored a career-high 19 points against Montana State-Billings, and is fourth on the team with an 8.6 ppg average.
Originally serving as a backup to Mike Caffey, Branford Jones forced his way into the starting lineup as an extra ball-handler against VCU, and responded with a breakout game, scoring 19 points in 37 minutes with just one turnover against VCU's havoc defense. The redshirt freshman is continuing to showcase much of the promise the guard showed before going down with an ankle injury in the first game of the year last season. Jones currently ranks seventh on the team in scoring, averaging 5.1 points per game and is second on the team with 38 assists.
Junior college transfer David Samuels picked up his second double-double of the year against UC Davis, putting up 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Aggies. Samuels finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds at NC State while recording his first double-double earlier in the season. His 5.8 rebounds per game rank 13th in the Big West, and second on the team behind Jennings.
The 49ers also bring in freshman Travis Hammonds, who will join Long Beach State after enrolling for the spring semester. Hammonds is a 6-6 guard who hails from Columbia, S.C., and had an outstanding game against UCI, leading The Beach with 12 points. His true breakout came Saturday against UC Davis however, scoring 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting with six rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead the 49ers over the Aggies.
Charles Lockett remains on a redshirt year, and senior forward Edgar Garibay is out for the year with an ACL tear. Nick Shepherd is the latest injury casualty, out with a wrist fracture, and will remain on the sidelines indefinitely.
ABOUT CAL POLY
Chris Eversley, a preseason All-Big West selection, leads Cal Poly in a pair of categories this season. Eversley is tops on the Mustangs in scoring at 13.8 points per game, and is also leading the team in rebounding with a 7.1 rebounds per game average.
Dave Nwaba is also averaging double-figures this season for Cal Poly, coming into Saturday at 12.3 points per game. Both Nwaba and Eversley rank among the conference leaders in scoring, with Eversley at 10th and Nwaba at 15th.
Long Beach State leads the series between the conference foes 39-29 all-time. That mark includes a 25-10 record at home, but Cal Poly holds the edge on the road, with 18 wins to 12 for the 49ers.
Long Beach State won a defensive battle in the last meeting between the teams, leaning on a big performance from James Ennis, who scored 23 points in a 50-48 win. The 49ers lost their last game in Mott Gym, falling 79-73, with Ennis again leading the way in scoring for LBSU.