GAME NOTES: Coming off their best defensive effort in three decades, the Long Beach State 49ers prepare to entertain the UC Davis Aggies in Big West Conference action at the Walter Pyramid on Wednesday night.
Over the weekend, the 49ers not only logged their third straight win, but also their 25th consecutive home conference victory as they crushed UC Irvine by a score of 75-35. The 35 points for the Highlanders were the fewest allowed by LBSU since limiting UC Irvine to a mere 26 points during the 1980-81 campaign. Now at 12-2 in conference play, the Beach is alone at the top of the Big West standings.
Meanwhile, the Aggies are stuck in the middle of the standings with seven wins in 13 opportunities. Last Saturday, UC Davis defeated Cal State Northridge, 73-61, for its second win in a row and the third in the last four outings.
Long Beach State owns a commanding 16-2 advantage in the all-time series against the Aggies, winning the most recent meeting last March by a score of 80-46. These two teams will complete their season series on March 7 when Davis hosts the 49ers.
UC Davis shot an impressive 65.2 percent from the floor in the first half against CSUN, including 7-of-13 beyond the arc, en route to a 13-point lead at the break and an eventual 12-point home win this past Saturday. Corey Hawkins erupted for 31 points, shooting 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, followed by J.T. Adenrele and Ryan Sypkens with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Ryan Howley grabbed 12 rebounds for the home team.
Hawkins leads the team in scoring with his 19.9 ppg, shooting an impressive 87.8 percent at the free-throw line. Sypkens checks in with another 14.4 ppg and has been one of the most productive 3-point shooters not just in the Big West, but the nation with his 91-of-188 (.484) accuracy. Adding to the offense is Adenrele (12.2 ppg) as he makes good on 57.4 percent of his field goal attempts for a team that averages 72.2 ppg.
Long Beach State went on the attack at both ends of the floor against UC Riverside, holding the visitors to a mere five field goals in the first half and 23.9 percent accuracy from the floor overall. The Highlanders were limited to 11 field goals in the contest, yet were forced into 18 turnovers, making it that much easier for the 49ers to cruise to the victory. Tony Freeland scored a game-high 14 points, followed by James Ennis and Deng Deng with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Unfortunately, as overwhelming as the win was for LBSU the last time out, the fact remains that in conference games the team is giving up a hefty 78.8 ppg, but scoring just 70.3 ppg. Ennis heads a list of five double-digit scorers with his 16.2 ppg, placing second on the glass with 6.3 rpg which is just behind Keala King (12.7 ppg) who is clearing 6.5 rpg for the program.
The 49ers might not have another incredible defensive effort ready to go, but being at home should still be enough to get LBSU over on the Aggies.
Game Date and Time