Long Beach State (13-15) at Cal State Northridge (14-17)
GAME NOTES: With eight wins in their last 11 games, the Long Beach State 49ers are surging to the finish of the Big West regular season. They will take on a Cal State Northridge team that has lost two straight nail-biting contests on Thursday evening.
The 49ers had their three-game winning streak snapped Saturday with an 84-76 loss at Cal State Fullerton. Mike Caffey had 22 points, but he shot just 9- of-20 from the floor and was charged with six turnovers for the 49ers. Tyler Lamb accounted for 13 points and Dan Jennings 13 as well, to go along with 10 rebounds. A.J. Spencer logged 10 rebounds as well in the loss.
Long Beach State, which enters this game third in the conference, a game behind No. 2 UC Santa Barbara and one game ahead of Hawaii. Caffey (16.2 ppg), who surpassed the 1,000-point milestone in the last game, leads the 49ers in scoring. He also leads the 49ers with 119 assists for the season and is third in rebounding (4.5 rpg). The 49ers have been getting big contributions from Lamb. A transfer from UCLA, Lamb (15.3 ppg) has scored in double figures in 15 of the 18 contests he's played in for LBSU. Jennings, a senior forward, is fourth in the Big West in rebounding (8.2 rpg) to go with 10.3 ppg. Spencer (9.0 ppg), a junior college transfer, has scored in double figures 12 times to earn a spot in the starting lineup.
This will be the final regular season contest for the Matadors, who suffered an 82-81 loss to Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 27 and then were beaten, 106-105, in double-overtime at UC Riverside on Saturday. Stephen Maxwell notched a double-double for the visitors with 25 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in the most recent contest. Josh Greene posted 26 points and six assists and Stephan Hicks added 24 points and four steals as the team lost for the third time in four games.
Maxwell (18.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg) leads the way for the Matadors, while Hicks (16.6 ppg), and Greene (15.6 ppg) are the others averaging double figures. CS Northridge ranks first in the nation in free throws made with 662, a school record. The Matadors are also second in the country in foul shooting percentage (.782). They are also making 37.4 percent from 3-point range.
Long Beach State has beaten Cal State Northridge nine straight times. The last time the Matadors won a game in this series was Feb. 28, 2009. The 49ers dominated the first meeting, 76-62, on Jan. 25. Caffey had 23 points in that contest, while Hicks scored 17 points to lead the Matadors. If CS Northridge is to turn it around, the Matadors will have to play better in the post. The 49ers had the advantage down low in the first meeting, outscoring the Matadors 48-30 in the paint. If Jennings, who had a double-double in the first encounter, has his way again in the paint, it could be a 10th straight defeat for the Matadors in this series.
GAME NOTES: With eight wins in their last 11 games, the Long Beach State 49ers
are surging to the finish of the Big West regular season. They will take on a
Cal State Northridge team that has lost two straight nail-biting contests on
Thursday evening.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Matadome (1,600) -- Northridge, California.
Television: none. Home Record: LBSU 8-4, CS Northridge 10-3. Away Record:
LBSU 5-8, CS Northridge 2-14. Neutral Record: LBSU 0-3, CS Northridge 2-0.
Conference Record: LBSU 9-5, CS Northridge 6-9. Series Record: Long Beach
State leads, 33-20.Game Date and Time
Thursday, March 6, 10 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Long Beach State 73, Cal State Northridge 70