Jan. 24, 2013
The first-place 49er men's basketball team (10-8, 6-1) returns home on Saturday to host UC Irvine (10-10, 4-3) in a Black & Blue Rivalry Series, presented by Duke's Restaurant and Barefoot Bar. The game tips off at 4:05 pm.
CONFERENCE HOME-WINNING STREAK ON THE LINE: Long Beach State has won 20 straight Big West games in the Walter Pyramid and will look to continue that streak on Saturday against UC Irvine. The last conference loss came against Pacific on Feb. 17, 2010. The 49ers have also won 36 of their last 40 games in Big West action.
49ERS RECEIVE VOTES IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Long Beach State received four votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll after notching its fifth-straight win.
LAST TIME OUT | LBSU 81, CAL STATE FULLERTON 71: Behind double-doubles from James Ennis (23 pts/11 reb) and Keala King (12 pts/11 reb), the 49ers defeated Cal State Fullerton on the road for the first time in four meetings. The win kept LBSU in first-place as four players scored in double-digits for the fifth straight game. The 49ers out-rebounded CSUF 51-31 in the contest and held one of the top scoring teams in the country to just 39% shooting in the game.
FORMER UCLA GUARD Tyler Lamb JOINS LBSU: For the fifth time in two years, a Division I transfer has joined the 49er basketball team. Lamb joins LBSU after playing for UCLA his freshman and sophomore seasons, including one game his junior year in 2012. He was granted his release from UCLA and joined the 49ers for the spring semester, and will be eligible to play after completion of the fall 2013 semester. During the 2011-12 season, Lamb started 32 of 33 games he played in, averaging 9.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
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 first (34.2), while Ennis is fifth (33.2) in the Big West in minutes played in conference games. 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 23 CONSECUTIVE GAMES: Senior James Ennis is currently riding a 23-game streak of scoring in double-figures, and is one of the leading players for Long Beach State. Overall, he has tallied 36 games with 10 or more points. In 2012, Ennis has scored over 20 points five times, including back-to-back games to close out non-conference play against BYU-Hawaii and UCLA. Against Cal State Fullerton, he posted his third double-double of the season notching 23 points and 11 boards. Ennis is tied for fifth in the league in scoring (17.0), and also ranks among the best in the conference in rebounding, averaging 7.2 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 80 assists and is averaging 12.5 points per game, second on the team. He is currently riding a seven-game streak of scoring in double-digits. Caffey is also tied for the team-lead in steals with 27, and has a 1.4 assist to turnover ratio through 18 games, helped greatly by a career-high nine assists at No. 4 Syracuse. Caffey is also averaging 15.7 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.
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 5-0 with both in the starting line-up. King is second on the team in rebounding (6.3) and third in scoring (10.1) and has tallied two double-doubles this season. Freeland is fourth in both rebounding (4.9) and scoring (10.1).
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.
DENG CONTINUES HOT SHOOTING BEHIND THE ARC: Freshman Deng Deng had a huge night against CSUN on Jan. 9 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. Against CSUF, he drained three three-pointers and picked up 15 points for the 49ers.
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 29 3-pointers made on 33.9% shooting, averaging 7.3 points per game. He knocked down two threes against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton as the 49ers won both games.
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