49ers Look to Clinch Big West Title Outright on Thursday at UC Davis
March 6, 2013
The Long Beach State men's basketball team will hit the road for its final two games of the regular season, first heading to UC Davis on Thursday night for a nationally televised game on ESPN2 at 8:00 pm. The team will end the road trip at Pacific on Saturday at 4:00 pm, which will be televised live on Fox Sports West.
The 49ers will clinch their third straight Big West crown with a win over the Aggies or with a Pacific loss versus UC Irvine (that game is also on Thursday, 7:00 pm), as well as the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. March 14-16.
LAST TIME OUT | UC IRVINE 72, LBSU 69: The 49ers found themselves in an 11-point hole at the halftime break. They fought hard to even the game at 63 with 2:33 left to play, but UC Irvine was able to hold on to win by three, 72-69. Mike Caffey led the team with 23 points, while four players scored in double-digits, including James Ennis, who tallied his 33rd-consecutive game in double-digits with 12.
49ERS RECEIVE VOTES IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Long Beach State received 11 votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll, despite falling to UC Irvine on March 2. Last week, the 49ers received 14 votes. They are the only Big West team receiving any votes in the poll.
ENNIS NAMED FINALIST FOR LOU HENSON AWARD: Senior guard James Ennis has been named one of 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award, giving annually to the top Mid-Major player. in college basketball. There is a fan vote that constitutes 33% of the final vote for the winner. Visit VoteLouHenson.com to vote for Ennis.
MONSON ON TRACK TO BE SECOND-WINNINGEST COACH AT LBSU: Head Coach Dan Monson tallied his 100th career victory at LBSU on Feb. 13 when the 49ers defeated Cal State Fullerton. He is the third winningiest coach all-time at Long Beach (102-87) behind only Jerry Tarkanian (122-20) and Seth Greenberg (105-70), and is on track to move into second all-time in the coming weeks.
49ERS CLINCH AT LEAST A SHARE OF BIG WEST REGULAR SEASON TITLE: After defeating UC Davis on 2/20, the 49ers clinched at least a share of the Big West regular season crown and can win it outright with a victory over UC Davis or a Pacific loss to UC Irvine on Thursday. LBSU is looking to become the first team to win three straight outright Big West regular season titles since UNLV won seven from 1982-89.
BIG WEST TOURNAMENT SINGLE-GAME TICKETS: Fans can purchase tickets at the Honda Center Box Office (10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays), Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster retail outlets, or by calling 800-745-3000.
ENNIS DOES IT ALL FOR 49ERS: Whether it's a highlight-reel dunk, three-pointer from NBA range, draining free throws or stealing the ball, senior James Ennis has consistently shown why he is a favorite for Big West Player of the Year, as well as in the running for All-District and All-American honors. He has scored in double-digits in 33-consecutive games and became the first Division I player to tally at least 26 points, 15 rebounds and four steals in the 49ers victory over CSUF on 2/13. A complete all-around player, Ennis ranks in the top 10 in Big West games in a multitude of categories, including his first-place ranking in steals. Other categories he ranks in are - scoring (6th), FG percentage (9th), FT percentage (5th), 3-pt FG made (10th), blocked shots (4th), defensive rebounds (6th) and minutes played (8th).
CAFFEY CONTINUES SOLID SOPHOMORE SEASON: Mike Caffey had a career night against Stephen F. Austin in the Bracketbuster game, scoring a team-high 24 points. He set career marks in points scored and field goals attempted (10) as he shot 50% from the field. Against UCI, he tallied a team-high 23 points, while making a career-high five three-pointers. Caffey leads the team in assists with 106, while holding a 1.3 assist to turnover (10th in Big West) ratio.
PAPPAGEORGE'S BENCH PLAY HAS BEEN BIG: One of the team's captains, Peter 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 (.452, 28-of-62) and has made 20 three-pointers over the last 11 games. He made a career-high five three-pointers at Northridge, helping the 49ers defeat the Matadors 83-80, then added 12 points and two steals against Fullerton in the 49ers 85-65 win.
FREELAND'S PLAY BOLSTERS RECENT 49ER WINS: Tony Freeland has been a big factor in recent 49er wins, highlighted by his double-double against Cal State Fullerton (13 pts./12 reb.). He has shot 50% or better in eight of the last nine games and tallied double-digit scoring in five of the last nine games. Against UC Davis on 2/20, Freeland equaled his career-high with 18 points. With Freeland in the starting line-up, the 49ers have notched a record of 15-4 this season. Freeland ranks third in the conference in FG percentage with .591.
KING IN STARTING LINE-UP HAS ASSISTED 49ERS: With Keala King in the starting lineup, the 49ers are 12-2. His insertion into the lineup has helped take the burden off of Mike Caffey, keeping him fresh for the amount of minutes he plays. King now ranks third on the team in assists with 56, while holding a 1.2 assist to turnover ratio. He also ranks fourth on the team in scoring (10.0) and is fourth in rebounding (5.2). Against UC Davis, King scored a season and team-high 22 points.
JENNINGS SOLID IN THE POST: Dan Jennings has been a force in the paint as of late, grabbing rebounds while scoring baskets via lay-in or dunk. He was one rebound shy of his first career double-double against UC Irvine, scoring 10 points, while grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. Against UC Davis, Jennings grabbed a career and team-high 11 rebounds.