Kansas State (2-3) vs. Long Beach State (1-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 24, 11:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coliseo Roberto Clemente (10,000) -- San Juan, Puerto Rico. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: KSU 2-1, LBSU 1-1. Away Record: KSU 0-0, LBSU 0-2. Neutral Record: KSU 0-2, LBSU 0-0. Conference Record: KSU 0-0, LBSU 0-0. Series Record: Kansas State leads, 5-2.
GAME NOTES: For the second time in a week, the Kansas State Wildcats and Long Beach State 49ers will square off on the hardwood, this time for seventh place in final-round action of the Puerto Rico Tip Off.
The Wildcats trip to San Juan has been fruitless to this point, with losses to Charlotte (68-61) and Georgetown (90-63) in the first two rounds of the event. The team is 2-3 and its last win came at home last Sunday, a 71-58 victory over this same Long Beach State squad.
The 49ers are also hoping to head back to the mainland with one win, after tournament losses to nationally-ranked Michigan (85-61) and VCU (73-67) in the first two rounds. LBSU is just 1-5 on the season and has lost five straight games since a season-opening win over Hawaii Pacific (71-59).
This is the eighth all-time meeting between these two teams and second in the span of a week.
A lack of offensive punch has really plagued the Wildcats in the early stages of this season. Kansas State is averaging just 64.8 ppg, struggling to find consistency in shooting (.396), including an ugly .250 from behind the arc. Compounding the problem for KSU is a -5.2 rebounding margin. Freshman guard Marcus Foster is the team's top offensive threat, averaging 15.4 ppg. No other Wildcat is currently in double figures, although fellow guards Will Spradling (9.4 ppg) and Shane Southwell (8.2 ppg) aren't far off the mark.
Kansas State once again struggled to find an offensively rhythm, but unfortunately, Georgetown was red-hot, connecting on 63.5 percent of its shots in the lopsided decision. The Wildcats managed a mere .360 shooting, despite getting a team-high 18 points off the bench from Thomas Gipson. Foster and Spradling added 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Long Beach State hung tough with the 10th-ranked Rams, shooting 50 percent from the floor overall, but was unable to pull off the upset. Four of the team's five starters notched double digits in the loss, led by Branford Jones' 19 points. Mike Caffey finished with 15 points, while A.J. Spencer and Dan Jennings chipped in with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The strong shooting against the Rams was certainly out of character for LBSU this season. Through six games, the 49ers are shooting just 40.8 percent overall, weighed down by a mere 27.3 percent effort from behind the arc. Caffey leads the team in the scoring column with 15.3 ppg. Jennings is next in line at 12.8 ppg and has been a force on the glass, with a team-best 10.3 rpg.
Both of these teams have struggled in the first month of the season. While LBSU played well last time out, not much has really changed in seven days.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 70, Long Beach State 63
11/24 10:33:19 ET