Men's Basketball Returns To Walter Pyramid Thursday
Nov. 13, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. -
Game: Loyola Marymount at Long Beach State
Over the last three seasons, Long Beach State has compiled a 24-3 record in the Walter Pyramid, utilizing one of the best home court advantages on the West Coast. The 49ers sold out their first game of the season against Hawaii Pacific, and return home for their second game in the unique building Thursday.
Long Beach State and Loyola Marymount meet for the 27th time Thursday, all coming in non-conference play, as the two Southern California teams have played each other in all but two seasons since 1998. Long Beach State holds an 8-5 record in the more recent meetings, including a 73-70 win last season in Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles.
Senior Dan Jennings has averaged a double-double through two games in 2013-14, with 13 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Jennings has hit double-figures in scoring in both games, and had eight rebounds (6 offensive) in Monday's loss at Arizona while leading the 49ers in scoring with 16 points.
The 49ers opened the season with two very different performances to go 1-1, with just one lead change in two games. Long Beach State took the lead at 5-3 and never looked back in the season opener, a 71-59 win over Hawaii Pacific, but fell behind early at No. 5 Arizona and trailed throughout the contest in a 91-57 loss in Tucson, Ariz.
Branford Jones has been a plus off of the bench for the 49ers, leading Long Beach State with nine assists while playing in 44 minutes, fourth on the team. Jones is also averaging six points per game, showcasing much of the promise the redshirt freshman showed before going down with an ankle injury in the first game of the year last season.
Junior college transfer David Samuels has played well in his first two games, averaging seven points per game while placing second on the team in rebounds with 15 behind Jennings. That mark is good for 10th in the Big West through two games.
ABOUT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
LMU had three players finish with 20+ points in the Lions second game, a 98-89 win over South Dakota State. The Lions enter the week 2-0, having defeated Grand Canyon in a close, 78-75 contest on November 8.
Anthony Ireland has had big games against the 49ers in the past. As a freshman, Ireland scored 12 points on 6-of-13 as part of an 80-77 win at the Walter Pyramid in 2010, and then last season, scored nine points with eight assists in a 73-70 loss.
The 49ers will look for a big game from Kris Gulley, who despite two starts has yet to break out for Long Beach State, shooting 2-for-14 over his first two games. Last season's LMU game was a big one for Gulley however, who scored the first eight points of the second half for the 49ers. That kickstarted a second-half comeback for The Beach, who trailed by six at the half in their 73-70 win.
Forward Ben Dickinson has been Loyola Marymount's other big scoring threat, tying Ireland for the team's scoring lead through two games. Dickinson scored 12 points in the opener before leading the Lions with 22 points against South Dakota State.