Jan. 28, 2013
Long Beach State (11-8, 7-1) will put its first-place record on the line Wednesday night at 9:00 pm when it hosts UC Santa Barbara (7-12, 3-5) in a nationally televised game (ESPNnews).
The 49ers are riding a six-game win streak that has put them at the top of the conference, a place they have been very familiar with in years past. The Gauchos haven't won a game in the Walter Pyramid since 2008 as LBSU is on a four-game win streak at home. Long Beach holds a slim lead in the all-time series (60-55) and is 36-16 at home against UCSB.
CONFERENCE HOME-WINNING STREAK ON THE LINE: Long Beach State has won 21 straight Big West games in the Walter Pyramid and will look to continue that streak on Wednesday against UC Santa Barbara. The last loss came against Pacific on Feb. 17, 2010. The 49ers have also won the last four home games against the Gauchos (last loss, 3/8/08).
FOUR DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORERS/GAME = SIX-GAME WIN STREAK: During Long Beach State's current six-game win streak, four players have scored in double-digits. This trend has proved crucial towards LBSU's current first-place standing in conference. The 49ers are 9-1 on the season when four-plus players score in double-digits.
49ERS RECEIVE VOTES IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Long Beach State received eight votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll after notching its sixth-straight win. They are 39th out of all teams receiving votes.
LAST TIME OUT | LBSU 81, UC IRVINE 59: In its most all-around game of the season, LBSU took down UC Irvine after a big second-half from James Ennis, in which he made four consecutive three-pointers and tallied all of his team-high 17 points in the second-half. The 49ers shot an incredible 58% from the three-point line (11-of-19) and 57% from the field (29-of-51) as they held an opponent to less than 60 points for the first time this season.
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: Mike Caffey and James Ennis continue to log extensive playing time. Caffey ranks eighth with 34.3 min/game in conference games and second in all games, while Ennis is sixth (32.9) in all games this season. Outside of Long Beach State, only Cal State Fullerton has more than one player averaging 31-plus minutes per contest.
ENNIS DOUBLING UP FOR 24 CONSECUTIVE GAMES: Senior James Ennis is currently riding a 24-game streak of scoring in double-figures, and is the senior leader for Long Beach State. Overall, he has tallied 37 games with 10 or more points. Against UC Irvine, Ennis was shutout in the first-half after picking up three fouls, but exploded in the second-half with four consecutive three-pointers and a team-high 17 points as LBSU won its sixth straight. Ennis is seventh in the league in scoring (17.1), and also ranks among the best in the conference in rebounding, averaging 4.3 defensive boards per game (10thT), 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 85 assists and is averaging 12.2 points per game, second on the team. His seven-game double-digit scoring streak ended against UC Irvine on Jan. 26 when he scored just seven points. Caffey is second on the team in steals with 28, and has a 1.4 assist to turnover ratio through 19 games, helped greatly by a career-high nine assists at No. 4 Syracuse. Caffey is also averaging 14.6 points per game in Big West action.
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 6-0 with both in the starting line-up. King is second on the team in rebounding (6.4) and third in scoring (10.1) and has tallied two double-doubles this season. Freeland is fourth in both rebounding (4.6) and fifth in scoring (9.5).
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 seven games this year, while shooting 50% or better in each of the last five games. On the season, Jennings is averaging 10.0 points and 6.4 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.
PAPPAGEORGE SPOTTING UP: One of the team's captains, Pappageorge has been a key bench player for the 49ers this season. He currently ranks sixth in Big West games for three-point field goal percentage (.481, 13-of-27) and has hit 4-of-6 from behind the arc in the last two games (UCI & CSUF).
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