1st-Place 49ers Travel to Cal State Fullerton on Saturday
Jan. 18, 2013
The men's basketball team will take its first-place record to Fullerton on Saturday as it faces-off with the Titans at 6:05 pm. LBSU (9-8, 5-1) is looking to extend its four game win streak and break a three-game losing skid in Titan Gym (last win came on 2/18/09). Long Beach leads the all-time series 60-43.
CSUF fell to 10-7 and 3-2 in Big West play after UC Irvine overpowered the Titans to win 92-65 on Thursday night.
The 49ers will face three of the conference's top four scorers in Kwame Vaughn (20.4), Sammy Yeager (19.4) and D.J. Seeley (19.2) and an offense that averages 82.8 points per game this season. Long Beach State has two scorers in the top 10 - James Ennis (16.2) and Mike Caffey (16.0) and is coming off of its biggest offensive night against UC Riverside where the 49ers scored a season-high 91 points. During the UCR game, LBSU shot 51.6% from the field (32-of-62) and was 17-of-21 (81.0%) from the charity strip.
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 91, UC RIVERSIDE 82: The 49ers needed overtime to get past a pesky UC Riverside squad, defeating the Highlanders 91-82 in extra time. Four players scored in double-digits, led by Keala King's season-high 18. LBSU shot 71% from the field in overtime, while holding UCR to just 33%. The 49ers used a 10-0 run to start the overtime period to put the game away.
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 longbeachstate.com.
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 (33.4) 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 22 CONSECUTIVE GAMES: Senior James Ennis is currently riding a 22-game streak of scoring in double-figures, and is one of the leading players for Long Beach State. Overall, he has tallied 35 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 1.8 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 75 assists and is averaging 12.4 points per game, second on the team. He is currently riding a six-game streak of scoring in double-digits. Caffey is also tied for the team-lead in steals with 27, and has a 1.5 assist to turnover ratio through 17 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 games this year. On the season, Jennings is averaging 9.9 points and 6.0 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 4-0 with both in the starting line-up. King is third on the team in rebounding (5.5), while Freeland is fourth (4.7). Freeland is third in scoring (10.3), while King is fifth (9.8).
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 27 3-pointers made on 34.2% shooting, averaging 7.4 points per game. He knocked down two threes against UC Riverside, helping the 49ers defeat the Highlanders in OT.