Loyola Marymount (2-0) at Long Beach State (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 14, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Walter Pyramid (5,000) -- Long Beach, California. Television: None. Home Record: LMU 0-0, LBSU 1-0. Away Record: LMU 0-0, LBSU 0-1. Neutral Record: LMU 2-0, LBSU 0-0. Conference Record: LMU 0-0, LBSU 0-0. Series Record: Long Beach State leads, 19-7.
GAME NOTES: Golden State rivals are set for a Thursday night showdown at Walter Pyramid, as the Long Beach State 49ers play host to the Loyola Marymount Lions.
LMU is coming off a campaign where it went 11-23 overall and finished in last place in the West Coast Conference at 1-15, but it has put that effort in the rearview mirror early on with two straight wins to open this new campaign. The Lions participated in the USD Classic last weekend and logged victories over Grand Canyon (78-75) and South Dakota State (98-89).
Although LBSU got its season started off on the right foot last Friday night with a home with over Hawaii-Pacific, 71-59, it ran into a buzz saw on Monday in nationally-ranked Arizona, as it suffered a 91-57 road defeat to fall to 1-1. The 49ers will enjoy being back on their home floor, however, as they have won 11 of their last 12 games at Walter Pyramid.
LBSU holds a 19-7 advantage in the all-time series with LMU, which includes a 73-70 triumph in November of 2012 on the road.
The Lions used a solid all-around effort in their latest win over SDSU, as they shot 57.9 percent from the field and 80.6 percent from the free-throw line, while forcing the Jackrabbits into less than 42 percent efficiency from the floor and 21 turnovers. A trio of 20-point scorers helped lead the charge offensively, with Ben Dickinson netting 22 points on 8-of-11 from the floor. Gabe Levin poured in 20 points, while Anthony Ireland also scored 20 while getting his teammates involved as well with 12 assists. LMU has been red-hot to start the season, shooting 51.2 percent from the field for 88.0 points per game, but while the team has played solid defense (.440 FG percentage allowed), it has been plagued by foul trouble, sending its foes to the charity stripe a total of 74 times in two games. Dickinson (17.0 ppg) has missed just five of his 18 field goal attempts in the early going, while Ireland (17.0 ppg), Levin (15.5 ppg) and Ayodeji Egbeyemi (10.0 ppg) round out the unit's double-digit scorers.
The 49ers played poorly at both ends of the floor in their blowout loss to Arizona earlier in the week. In addition to shooting just 27 percent from the field themselves (including 5-of-23 from 3-point range), they also allowed the Wildcats to make good on nearly 59 percent of their field goal attempts. The lone bright spot for the squad was Dan Jennings, who tallied 16 points, eight rebounds, a block and a steal. LBSU hopes that poor shooting nights don't become a trend, as it shot just 40 percent in the opener against an inferior Hawaii-Pacific squad. Mike Caffey leads the team on the young season with 16.5 points per game, and he has been a menace in the passing lanes with six steals. Jennings tallies 13.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, as he appears to be a nightly double-double threat. David Samuels (7.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) has also been a factor in the frontcourt, and his production will go up once he improves upon his poor shooting (2-of-12).
Although it's a small sample size, LMU appears much improved this season and hopes it can regain a form closer to its 2011-12 campaign (21-13). But the Lions will have their hands full tonight in hostile territory against an LBSU squad that is due to start draining some shots.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Long Beach State 73, Loyola Marymount 63
11/14 10:35:36 ET