Quest to Defend Big West Tournament Crown Begins Thursday vs. CSUF
March 13, 2013
The Long Beach State men's basketball team (18-12) will begin the quest to defend its 2012 Big West Tournament title on Thursday when they face Cal State Fullerton (6-12, 14-17) in a quarterfinal game at 6:00 pm at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Long Beach will be facing Fullerton for the third time this season, having won both meetings during the regular season. The 49ers are 6-1 all-time versus CSUF in the conference tournament.
LAST TIME OUT | PACIFIC 71, LONG BEACH STATE 51: After capturing the regular season crown at UC Davis, the 49ers struggled against Pacific, losing by 20 in Stockton. James Ennis led the team with 12 points, tallying his 35th-consecutive game in double-digit scoring.
LBSU FACES CSUF IN 1ST ROUND OF BIG WEST TOURNAMENT: No. 1 seed Long Beach State will face the No. 8 seed CSUF in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament on Thursday at 6:00 pm at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The game will be broadcasted on tape delay (Prime Ticket) later that night. If LBSU wins, they will face the lowest remaining seed at 6:30 pm on Friday (TV-ESPNU) in the semifinal round. The championship game will be on Saturday at 7:30 pm. (TV-ESPN2)
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.
MONSON & ENNIS TAKE HOME CONFERENCE'S TOP HONORS: Head Coach Dan Monson was named Big West Coach of the Year, his third consecutive year receiving the honor, while Ennis was named Player of the Year, marking the third straight season in which a 49er has earned POY accolades. In all, LBSU has tallied four Coach of the Year winners and 12 Player of the Year honors.
LBSU WINS THIRD-STRAIGHT BIG WEST TITLE: With its win over Davis on 3/7, LBSU clinched its third straight regular season crown, giving the team the No. 1 seed in next week's Big West tournament. LBSU became the first team since UNLV in the 80s to win three straight outright titles. The win also marks the first time the 49ers have won three straight since the team won six from 1970-75.
LBSU GAMES NOW BEING BROADCASTED ON KBEACH RADIO: LBSU has partnered with Kbeach Radio to broadcast 49er basketball games. During the Big West Tournament, Long Beach games will be broadcasted on 88.1 FM HD3, as well as via the internet stream on Kbeach.org with Rob Brender calling the games. Fans can also download the Kbeach app and listen on their smart phones.
49ERS RECEIVE VOTES IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Long Beach State received 7 votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll after splitting the road trip at UC Davis (W) and Pacific (L). Pacific joined the 49ers in the `receiving votes category' with eight votes.
NCAA SELECTION SHOW VIEWING PARTY: Should the 49ers win the Big West Conference Tournament to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, then there will be a selection show viewing party at The Nugget on upper campus from 2-5 pm on Sunday, Mar. 17. Food and drinks will be available for purchase and players and coaches will be available for interviews.
ENNIS NAMED FINALIST FOR LOU HENSON AWARD: Senior guard James Ennis has been named one of 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award, given 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 BECOME 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 winningeest coach all-time at Long Beach (103-87) 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.
ENNIS RACKING UP POSTSEASON HONORS: Senior forward/guard James Ennis has been racking up the post season honors, being named Big West Player of the Year and first-team all-conference. Ennis was also named to the All-District IX team and is the only Big West representative on the list, as well as just one of three non-Pac-12 players honored. He is a multi-faceted player who can shoot the three from NBA range, knock down free throws, slam down highlight reel dunks and steal the ball. He ranks in the Big West top 10 statistically in scoring (17.0 ppg - 5th), rebounding (6.9 rpg - 8th), field goal percentage (.491 - 7th), free throw percentage (.847 - 2nd), steals (1.8 - 3rd) and blocked shots (1.4 bpg - 4th). Ennis, who scored in double figures in all 30 games this season, and has extended that streak to 35 straight dating back to 2011-12. Ennis also became the first NCAA Div. I player this season to tally at least 26 points, 15 rebounds and four steals in the 49ers' victory over CSUF on 2/13.
CAFFEY'S PLAY EARNS HIM BIG WEST 1ST-TEAM HONORS: Sophomore guard Mike Caffey stepped up in a big way after the graduation of two-time Big West Player of the Year, Casper Ware, and has been a guiding force at the point for the 49ers. Caffey was named to the all-conference first-team team, joining teammate James Ennis. He currently leads the team with 114 assists, while holding a 1.4 assist/turnover ratio. He ranks in the Big West top 10 in steals/game (1.3, 9th) and assists/game (3.6, 8th) and has been averaging 33-plus minutes per contest.
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 sixth in Big West games for three-point field goal percentage (.441, 30-of-68) and has made 22 three-pointers over the last 13 games. He made a career-high five three-pointers at Northridge on Mar. 9, helping the 49ers defeat the Matadors 83-80, then added 12 points and two steals against Fullerton in the 49ers 85-65 win on Mar. 13.
FREELAND'S PLAY BOLSTERS RECENT 49ER WINS: Tony Freeland has been a big factor in recent 49er wins, helping him to be named to the Big West All-Conference Honorable Mention team. He has shot 50% or better in 10 of the last 11 games and tallied a season-high 21 points at UC Davis on 3/7 to assist the 49ers in clinching the Big West regular season title. He currently ranks third in the conference in field goal percentage (.590). With Freeland in the starting line-up, the 49ers have notched a record of 16-3 this season.
KING IN STARTING LINE-UP HAS ASSISTED 49ERS: Along with fellow transfer Tony Freeland, Keala King has been named to the Big West All-Conference Honorable Mention team. His addition to the team has paid dividends, helping relieve some of the playing time on Mike Caffey. With King in the lineup, the 49ers are 14-2 as the junior ranks third on the team in assists (57) and rebounds (5.0), and fourth in points (9.4).
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 on 2/20, Jennings grabbed a career and team-high 11 rebounds. Over the last five games, Jennings has averaged 8.0 rebounds per contest.