49ers Head to Honolulu for Crucial Game Against Hawai'i
Feb. 5, 2013
Long Beach State (13-8, 9-1) will travel to Honolulu to face Hawai'i (13-9, 7-4) in a crucial Big West road game on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 9:00 pm (PT). The 49ers continue to stand in first-place, while Hawai'i moved into sole position of third after defeating UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton last weekend. The Warriors are riding a three-game road win streak and are 4-1 in Big West home games this season.
LAST TIME OUT | LBSU 50, CAL POLY 48: It was a defensive battle for each team with the 49ers coming out on top. Clutch free throw shooting by James Ennis with six seconds to play lifted Long Beach to victory and their eighth straight Big West win. Ennis tallied his 26th-consecutive double-digit scoring game as the 49ers held an opponent to under 50 points for the first time since March, 2012.
49ERS STREAKING THROUGH BIG WEST PLAY: Long Beach State has not lost a game, home or away. since falling to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo Jan 3, and have won eight straight games and three straight road contests. Long Beach has never won a game at the Stan Sheriff Center, which holds over 10,000 fans (0-4), and will be looking to break that string of bad luck on Thursday.
LBSU DEFENSE STEPPING IT UP IN CONFERENCE PLAY: The 49er defense has been impressive, of late, holding the last three opponents to under 60 points for the first time this season. Against Cal Poly, LBSU held the Mustangs to 48 points, the fewest allowed by the 49ers since last year's Big West Tournament. Cal Poly was held to just 31.5% from the field, the lowest for an LBSU opponent since February of 2012. Of LBSU's nine league victories, seven have come by single-digits and four have come by four points or less.
49ERS RECEIVE VOTES IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Long Beach State received eight votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll after extending its win streak to eight games by defeating UCSB and Cal Poly last week.
49ERS TO FACE STEPHEN F. AUSTIN IN BRACKETBUSTER: Long Beach State will face Southland Conference's Stephen F. Austin (18-2, 9-1) on Friday, Feb. 22 in a Ramada Worldwide Bracketbuster game. The contest will be televised live on ESPNU at 6:00 pm (PT).
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.
ENNIS PLAYING LIKE AN ALL-AMERICAN: Senior James Ennis is currently riding a 26-game double-digit scoring streak and has notched six games scoring more than 20 points this season. In the last three games, Ennis has made 12-of-20 from behind the three-point line and 10-of-12 from the charity strip. He has led the team in scoring in four of the last five games, while averaging 33.1 minutes per Big West contest. His two made free throws against Cal Poly on Feb. 2 sealed the 49ers' eighth straight victory. Ennis also ranks second in the conference in blocked shots (1.6/game), sixth in scoring (17.6 pts.), 10th in field goal percentage (54.7%) and fourth in free throw percentage (86.7%).
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 88 assists and is averaging 11.9 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 is tied for the team-lead in steals with 31 and has a 1.2 assist to turnover ratio through 21 games, helped greatly by a career-high nine assists at No. 4 Syracuse. Caffey is also averaging 13.4 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 Dec. 29 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 8-0 with both in the starting line-up. King is third on the team in rebounding (6.1) and fifth in scoring (8.6) and has tallied two double-doubles this season. Freeland is fourth in rebounding (5.0) and third in scoring (10.1) 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 seven games. On the season, Jennings is averaging 9.7 points and 6.1 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 (.455, 15-of-33) and has hit 6-of-12 from behind the arc in the last four games.