GAME NOTES: The Long Beach State 49ers will try to string a pair of wins together and make moves toward the top of the Big West Conference as they travel to face the UC Davis Aggies Thursday at The Pavilion.
Long Beach State defeated Cal Poly on Saturday, 74-65, and has won two of its last three games. The 49ers are 7-4 in the Big West Conference this season, which is one and a half games behind UC Irvine for the conference's top spot.
UC Davis has lost two games in a row, and three of its last four in conference competition. The Aggies have struggled to a 3-7 Big West record this season - just a half-game out of the last spot in the conference.
Long Beach State has taken control of the all-time series lead quickly against UC Davis, leading 17-2. The 49ers have won eight consecutive games at The Pavilion, having lost there only once in the series. LBSU defeated UC Davis earlier this season, 99-74, in Long Beach.
Long Beach State only led Cal Poly by two points at the half of Saturday's Big West matchup, but the 49ers, and point guard Mike Caffey specifically, caught fire in the second half to down the Mustangs for the win. Tyler Lamb led LBSU with 19 points in the contest, adding five assists. Caffey netted 18 in the game, Dan Jennings scored 12 with nine rebounds and Travis Hammonds chipped in 10. Long Beach State shot 53.8 percent from the floor in the win.
Caffey and Lamb have been the go-to scorers for Long Beach State during this late-season run. Caffey tops the team with a 16.5 ppg average on 41.4 percent shooting from the field. His 4.2 apg mark is also a team best, along with his 38 steals on the year. Lamb checks in at 15.6 ppg, and is behind Caffey with 23 steals. Jennings is third in scoring with 9.9 ppg, but has am 8.1 rpg average (a team high) and 28 blocked shots (also a team high).
Cal State Fullerton jumped ahead by 10 points at the end of the first half over UC Davis last Thursday, and didn't need any further assistance to take down the Aggies. Corey Hawkins was the only UC Davis player to score in double figures against CS Fullerton, netting 21 points with five rebounds and four assists before fouling out. The Aggies shot 41.5 percent from the floor in the loss, and hit 35 percent from 3-point range.
Hawkins has been a bright spot for the Aggies this season, leading the team in scoring with 18.5 ppg on 45.2 percent shooting. Hawkins is a well-rounded player, bringing down 4.5 rpg and dishing out 71 assists on the year, which is second to Darius Graham. Ryan Sypkens is averaging 11.9 ppg and is hitting 42.2 percent from 3-point range. Georgi Funtarov is the active leading rebounder at 4.8 rpg, and is averaging 9 ppg.
Long Beach State may be on the road in this game, but UC Davis isn't exactly the strongest road team. The 49ers have made a serious push for the top spot in the Big West, and that should continue against the struggling Aggies.
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