Long Beach State Hits The Road To Face No. 5 Arizona
Nov. 10, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. -
Game:..................................... Long Beach State at Arizona
Under Monson, the 49ers have played 19 ranked opponents and 28 Power Six Conference teams in six seasons. The 49ers have two wins in that time, both coming in the 2011-12 season. The 49ers upset No. 9 Pittsburgh 86-76 on the road, and then defeated No. 14 Xavier in the Diamond Head Classic 68-58.
Junior guard Mike Caffey has carried most of the press and expectations leading into the 2013-14 season, and the point man lived up to the hype through game one, scoring a career-high 27 points to lead Long Beach State past Hawaii Pacific 71-59. The 49ers have now won three straight home openers, and are now 8-0 under Monson against teams outside of Division I.
Senior Dan Jennings recorded his first career double-double with a big night on the boards. In addition to his 10 points, Jennings added a career high 17 rebounds, leading the 49ers to their first game with 50 rebounds as a team since January of last year.
Redshirt freshman Branford Jone completed his first collegiate game, scoring seven points and making four assists against Hawaii Pacific. Jones missed the entire season in 2012-13 following a broken ankle in last season's home opener.
David Samuels impressed in his first start, scoring 11 points and grabbing 8 boards to lead Long Beach State's numerous newcomers.
Gordon led the Wildcats in scoring in their first game, a 73-62 win over a Big West opponent, Cal Poly. Gordon scored 13 points in 33 minutes on 5-of-11 shooting. The Wildcats had very balanced scoring in the win however, with six players finishing in double-figures in Tucson.
This is the second season in a row that the 49ers have played in the McKale Center - Arizona was 94-72 winners over Long Beach State in the 49ers' fourth game a season ago. Senior Peter Pappageorge scored 16 points for Long Beach State, while James Ennis led the team with 17 points. Kris Gulley was the top scorer of returning players for The Beach, as the junior swingman scored 12 points with a trio of 3-pointers
The teams return one matchup from a year ago to watch; LBSU's forward Dan Jennings against sophomore seven-footer Kaleb Tarczewski of Arizona. Jennings had nine rebounds, including three offensive, a season ago in Tucson, but only scored five points. Defensively, Jennings did a nice job on Tarczewski, limiting the big man to seven points and five rebounds.
Along with Gordon, the 49ers will have to look out for sophomore Brandon Ashley. Ashley scored a game-high 20 points in the teams' meeting last season, finishing a perfect 6-for-6 from the field while making 8-of-9 from the stripe.
Free throws were a big part of Arizona's win last season; the Wildcats hit 25-of-35 from the line in their 22 point victory.