Long Beach State (1-2) at Kansas State (1-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 17, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528) -- Manhattan, Kansas. Television: FSN-KC, MASN. Home Record: LBSU 1-1, KSU 1-1. Away Record: LBSU 0-1, KSU 0-0. Neutral Record: LBSU 0-0, KSU 0-0. Conference Record: LBSU 0-0, KSU 0-0. Series Record: Kansas State leads, 4-2.
GAMES NOTES: Before packing their bags for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, the Kansas State Wildcats will deal with the Long Beach State 49ers in a non-conference duel at Bramlage Coliseum.
After a 71-59 victory over Hawaii-Pacific to begin the year the 49ers have struggled to get back into the win column with back-to-back losses. The first came on the road against No. 6 Arizona (91-57). The more recent disappointment was a much harder pill to swallow as the 49ers lost 74-73 to Loyola Marymount on a pair of last-second free throws. Long Beach State is now getting back on the road, where it went 7-10 a year ago. The 49ers are also taking part in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, with their first matchup of the event coming against No. 7 Michigan on Thursday.
Though it has played its first two games at home, Kansas State enters Sunday with a 1-1 record. The Wildcats were upset, 60-50, by Northern Colorado in a heartbreaking season opener but they followed that up with a 71-63 win over Oral Roberts this past Wednesday. A year ago the Wildcats were nearly impossible to bring down at Bramlage Coliseum, a venue where they enjoyed 15 wins in 16 tries. Kansas State will be facing off with Charlotte in San Juan on Thursday.
In six previous meetings with Long Beach State the Wildcats have come out on top four times. The most recent victory came during the 2011-12 season when the Wildcats earned a 77-60 triumph on the road.
The 49ers owned a seven-point lead with just over three minutes to play against Loyola Marymount but really faltered down the stretch as they went just 2-of-4 from the free throw line and did not manage a field goal in the last three minutes.
Offensive efficiency has escaped the 49ers this year. They are shooting at a paltry 37 percent from the field in the first three games. Long Beach State has also had trouble on defense, allowing teams to net 45.6 percent of their shots from the floor. There have been some positives though, especially on the glass, as the 49ers are grabbing 38.3 rebounds per game. Michael Caffey (18.7 ppg) is certainly doing his best to take control of the team offensively. He is one of just two players averaging in double figures, and is netting 44.2 percent of his field goal tries. Caffey finished with a game-high 23 points in the loss to Loyola Marymount. Dan Jennings (14.7 ppg, 12.0 rpg) has made sure to keep the 49ers competitive on the boards as he has posted a pair of double- doubles, including an 18-point, 11-rebound showing against the Lions.
Kansas State connected on an even 50 percent from the field and outscored Oral Roberts 15-3 from 3-point range to earn its first win of the season. Marcus Foster scored 25 points and knocked down 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc to pace the Wildcats.
Foster had only eight points in the opener and missed all six of his attempts from beyond the arc in what turned out to be a two-point loss. Thanks to his efforts against Oral Roberts, Foster is now leading the team in scoring. D.J. Johnson (12.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg) is leading the team on the glass and has been the more consistent offensive threat. Johnson had 12 points and seven rebounds in the win over Oral Roberts after registering 12 points and nine rebounds in the season opener. Shane Southwell (7.0 ppg, 10 assists) is leading the team in terms of assists but he has not been able to get himself going offensively. The 6-foot-7 forward is connecting on just 26.5 percent of his attempts from the field.
Foster seemed to recapture his shooting touch against Oral Roberts. If he continues to knock down shots from the perimeter and Johnson can again be a force down low the Wildcats will head off to Puerto Rico with another win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas State 72, Long Beach State 62
11/17 10:33:09 ET