5 things we learned from Long Beach State vs. Cal State Fullerton

Mike Caffey was a one-man wrecking crew as he led Long Beach State to a 91-85 overtime win over Cal State Fullerton. It was a career night for Caffey and forward David Samuels to help The Beach (11-11, 5-1 Big West) remain tied atop the conference standings and break the hearts of the Titans (8-13, 0-6 Big West). Here’s five things we learned from Long Beach State’s come-from-behind win.

Mike Caffey is a bad man

In case you didn’t know before, now you know. The Long Beach State senior guard had just nine points in the first half, but the Cal State Fullerton staff knew he would have his say before the game was over. Unfortunately for the Titans, it was. Caffey scored 17 points in the final 3:41 of regulation and overtime to help the 49ers overcome an 11-point deficit. The senior finished with a career-high 34 points. It was the first 30-point game by a 49er since Casper Ware’s 33 in the 2012 Big West Tournament final.

Alex Harris isn’t bad, either

One thing we know is Harris isn’t a point guard, but he’s playing one for the Titans this season. He can still score the basketball, though. Harris fought cramps to lead Cal State Fullerton in scoring with 28 points. He also had a team-high four assists. When he plays with a scorer’s mentality, he’s as good as they come in the conference. However, it’s a fine line he has to walk as the team’s primary ball handler.

Playing 40

Cal State Fullerton head coach Dedrique Taylor joked during the broadcast on Prime Ticket that he wished the game could be called at halftime with his team holding a six-point lead. The Titans have struggled to put two halves together during conference play. They were able to do that Thursday night. Unfortunately, they were required to play an overtime period and that sealed the Titans’ fate. Cal State Fullerton was outscored 16-10 in the extra frame and shot 40 percent from the field. The Titans are now 0-6 in conference play for the first time since 2001-02.

Samuels cleans the glass

Long Beach State forward David Samuels entered Thursday night second in the Big West in rebounding. Opposite him was Steve McClellan, the leading rebounder in the conference. The two bigs went at it on the boards. Samuels had a narrow 13-12 advantage. A huge bonus was the career-high 22 points he chipped in for his sixth straight double-double to start conference play.

The Beach is resilient 

There were a lot of things known about Dan Monson’s 49ers. They were thought to be a talented team, extremely athletic and depending on who you ask, a favorite to win the conference. On Thursday the club showed a great deal of resiliency. Long Beach State trailed for over 30 minutes in the game on Thursday but refused to go away. At the under four-minute media timeout Travis Hammonds said to his teammates "you got to want it." The 49ers proved they did.