LONG BEACH, Calif. — It was a weekend of milestones for Long Beach State point guard Mike Caffey as he scored his 1,000th career point, becoming the 23rd playing in program history to do so, but the biggest feat of the night was the 49ers’ bounce back win over Cal Poly.
Just two days after The Beach came back from a 13-point deficit only to be defeated by a put-back at the buzzer by UC Santa Barbara’s Michael Bryson, Long Beach pulled out a 74-65 win over Cal Poly on FOX Sports Prime Ticket, Saturday night at the Walter Pyramid.
Long Beach hasn’t lost two games Big West games at home in two and a half years. It’s a notable streak that remains intact because of the shooting of Caffey and Tyler Lamb as well as a gritty defensive performance.
"If they have open shots, they’re going to make them. And our team did a good job of not letting them get into a flow," said Long Beach head coach Dan Monson. "I thought we were locked in defensively… Offensively, we’re still a work in progress."
Offensively, Long Beach (11-14, 7-4) shot 53.8 percent from the field with Caffey scoring 18 points and Lamb scoring 19. Cal Poly (9-15, 5-6), losers of five of their last six games now, struggled from the field with Kyle Odister scoring 11 mostly on shots late in the game after the 49ers had a semi-comfortable lead.
Leading scorer David Nwaba went just 1-for-10 from the field but made five free throws to finish with seven points.
I Appreciate Everybody That Supported Me For These Couple Of Years, Its A Honor To Be Apart Of Such A Great Group Of Scorers At LBSU!
The two teams have never matched up well with one another. In the last meeting, Long Beach won by just one point and last year’s games came down to just one and two possessions as well. While the Mustangs want to bleed the clock out, the 49ers want to move the ball and make plays.
"They’re one of those teams that take a lot of time on their plays," Monson said. "We had a couple times in the first half where we would play great defense for 30 seconds, give up an offensive rebound and then give up another 30. They frustrate you, they control the tempo. And there’s nothing more discouraging than playing 30 seconds of defense only to give up a three."
"What’s frustrating about Cal Poly is the fact that they hold the ball for 30 seconds," said Long Beach forward Dan Jennings. "That can be tiring, all day every day, they don’t shoot until the last five seconds. You’ve got to concentrate longer on defense."
Caffey, a junior who turns 21 on Monday, surpassed Bryon Russell and George Trapp on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,009 points.
It might has well have been meaningless without the win.