Cal State Fullerton (11-19) vs. Long Beach State (14-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 13, 5:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Honda Center (17,608) -- Anaheim, California.
Television: FSN-PT. Home Record: Fullerton 8-6, LBSU 9-4. Away Record:
Fullerton 3-12, LBSU 5-9. Neutral Record: Fullerton 0-1, LBSU 0-3. Conference
Record: Fullerton 6-10, LBSU 9-6. Series Record: Long Beach State leads,
GAME NOTES: Just two years removed from winning it all in the Big West
Conference Tournament, the Long Beach State 49ers hope to be a major player in
the 39th annual event at the Honda Center today when they challenge the Cal
State Fullerton Titans in quarterfinal-round action.
Long Beach State, the third seed in the tourney, played in the title game
three straight years between 2010-12, but has only a 77-64 triumph over UC
Santa Barbara in the most recent championship appearance to show for its
efforts. The team owns a total of five trophies from the event and an overall
record of 33-28 entering play today.
As for the Titans, the sixth seed, their overall experience in this tournament
has not been quite as positive, sporting a record of 22-33 over the years.
However, Fullerton does have a couple of crowns to its credit, the last one
coming against UC Irvine in 2008 by a lopsided score of 81-66.
LBSU owns a 64-44 advantage in the all-time series between the programs, and
is an impressive 7-1 against Fullerton during the Big West Tournament over the
years, not to mention 1-0 in meetings that have taken place at the Honda
The winner of this meeting will be back in action in the semifinals on Friday
against an opponent to be determined based on the teams remaining and their
Providing the Titans with some scoring punch this season was Michael Williams
who was named Big West Newcomer of the Year and picked up all-league second
team honors as well after leading the program in scoring with 17.6 ppg. In
conference play Williams made the jump to 19.7 ppg as he matched Alex Harris
(17.7 ppg) with a team-best 41 3-pointers. However, beyond that duo the Titans
don't have much in the way of significant, impact players because those two
combined to account for more than half the unit's 69.0 ppg. Not only were
Williams and Harris the go-to guys when the Titans needed points, they also
were more than comfortable giving teammates opportunities, evidenced by their
79 combined assists.
While the 49ers also feature two players averaging double-digit scoring during
Big West action this season, there seems to be much more of a supporting cast
that has been key in earning the program a 10-6 record. Mike Caffey averaged
more than 34 minutes per game as he tallied 15.5 ppg in those 16 league bouts,
handing out an impressive 69 assists, but those numbers, along with 4.7 rpg,
don't negate the fact that he shot only 28.8 percent behind the 3-point line.
Tyler Lamb (14.1 ppg) was slightly better on the perimeter at 35.4 percent,
but LBSU was far from a dominant outside shooting squad. Accounting for
another 9.5 ppg as he started all but two league outings, was Dan Jennings who
also pulled down 9.0 rpg and shot 64.1 percent from the floor, but just 55.6
percent at the free-throw line.
With so many more options to choose from on offense, the 49ers have to be
considered the favorite to advance beyond today in the tournament. While
Williams and Harris clearly dominate from a Fullerton perspective, having more
of a balance after a long, grinding season may be the better option right now.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Long Beach State 71, Cal State Fullerton 66
03/13 10:33:36 ET
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