49ers Look to Even the Score Against Cal Poly on Saturday
Feb. 1, 2013
Cal Poly (9-10, 5-4), which handed Long Beach State (12-8, 8-1) its only Big West loss of the season, comes to the Pyramid Saturday afternoon to take on the 49ers. The game tips off at 4:05 pm and will be televised live on FSN Prime Ticket.
The 49ers have not lost a game since falling to the Mustangs in San Luis Obispo on Jan. 3 (79-73). Long Beach is on a seven-game win streak since the loss and has not dropped a game at home to Cal Poly since 2010.
CONFERENCE HOME-WINNING STREAK ON THE LINE: Long Beach State has extended its Big West home win streak in Walter Pyramid to 22 games after defeating UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara, and will look to continue that streak on Saturday against Cal Poly. The team's last loss came against Pacific on Feb. 17, 2010. The 49ers have also won the last two home games against the Mustangs (last loss, 1/16/10).
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 against UC Irvine and are poised to crack the top 25 if they can come out of the weekend 2-0 against UCSB and Cal Poly.
LAST TIME OUT | LBSU 57, UC SANTA BARBARA 55: Both LBSU and UCSB struggled offensively in a low-scoring contest, but Long Beach was able to come out on top in the end. Opening the game shooting 1-of-13 (7.7%) and down by as many as eight points in the first half, the 49ers put some buckets together to take the lead at the halftime break. LBSU went up by as many as seven points in the second half, but UCSB tied the game with a three-point basket with 26 seconds to play. The Gauchos were forced to foul in the closing seconds and two made free throws by Mike Caffey pushed the 49ers to a 57-55 victory. UCSB's 55 points was the fewest allowed by Long Beach this season and marked the second-consecutive game in which an opponent was held to under 60 points (UCI, 59). James Ennis tallied his 25th-consecutive double-digit scoring game in the win, while Tony Freeland tallied season-high totals in points (16) and rebounds (9).
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 33.9 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 25 CONSECUTIVE GAMES: Senior James Ennis is currently riding a 25-game streak of scoring in double-figures, and is the senior leader for Long Beach State. Overall, he has tallied 38 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. In the UCSB win, he tied for team lead in points with 16. Ennis is sixth in the league in scoring (17.0), and ranks second in blocked shots with 1.7 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 86 assists and is averaging 12.1 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, but he returned to double-digit scoring against UCSB, tallying 10 points. Caffey also leads the team in steals with 31 and has a 1.4 assist to turnover ratio through 20 games, helped greatly by a career-high nine assists at No. 4 Syracuse. Caffey is also averaging 14.1 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 7-0 with both in the starting line-up. King is second on the team in rebounding (6.0) and fifth in scoring (9.3) and has tallied two double-doubles this season. Freeland is fourth in both rebounding (5.1) and third in scoring (10.2) after tallying season-highs in both (16 pts/9 reb) vs. UCSB.
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 been a solid contributor 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 of six games. On the season, Jennings is averaging 9.9 points and 5.9 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 seventh in Big West games for three-point field goal percentage (.467, 14-of-30) and has hit 5-of-9 from behind the arc in the last three games (UCI, CSUF, UCSB).
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.