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Men's Basketball

Six Teams Have Punched Tickets For 2011 ampm Big West Tournament

Files associated with this release:
Men's Basketball Release No. 17

2/28/2011

Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis and UC Riverside hope to snag the two remaining spots for the 2011 ampm Big West Men's Basketball Tournament at Honda Center on Mar. 10-12.  Both the Titans and Highlanders would clinch berths with one win or an Aggie loss this week.  Long Beach State and Cal Poly have clinched the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively.

NOTEWORTHY

KEEP AN EYE ON

Lenny Daniel, Cal State Northridge
Daniel posted his sixth 20-point game of the season, leading Cal State Northridge to a 68-60 win over UC Santa Barbara with 23 points on Senior Night.  The forward made 11 of 16 free throws and 6 of 9 from the field.  The 16 free throw attempts gave him 233 for the season and the school record.  Daniel also blocked one shot to up his career total to 76, the second-most in school history.  He has scored in double figures in 10 straight and 23 of the last 24 contests.  Daniel also ranks second in the Big West with 15 double-doubles.

MORE NOTABLES

Long Beach State Wins Regular Season Title
Long Beach State wrapped up its first regular season Big West title since the 2006-07 season with a 61-55 victory against second place Cal Poly last Thursday.  The 49ers also defeated UC Santa Barbara on Saturday to improve to 13-2 in league play and extend their winning streak to a season-high eight games.

Commitment to defense propelled the 49ers to the championship.  In conference play, LBSU has held opponents under 60 points in seven games, all wins.  The 49ers have limited their last four foes to 54.8 points per game.

LBSU rose to 19-10 overall and are on the cusp of a 20-win season for the first time since 2006-07 (24-8).

49ers Claim Tournament No. 1 Seed
By virtue of capturing the regular season crown, Long Beach State earned the No. 1 seed in next week’s ampm Big West Tournament at Honda Center.  The 49ers open the tournament at noon on Thursday, March 10 against a yet to be determined No. 8 seed.

No. 1 seeds have experienced success recently at the Big West Tournament, hoisting the trophy in four of the last five years.

Homeland Security
Long Beach State’s victories against Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara last week pushed its home record to 8-0 in conference games.  This is the second straight season a team has posted an unblemished Big West home record. UC Santa Barbara went 8-0 at The Thunderdome last year.

Cal Poly Ties Program Record For Big West Wins
Cal Poly’s 75-70 victory at Cal State Fullerton Saturday nailed down the No. 2 seed in the ampm Big West Tournament.  In improving to 10-5, the Mustangs tied the program record for conference wins initially set in 2002-03 when an 18-game schedule was played.  Cal Poly leads the Big West in scoring defense (57.8 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.391) and three-point field goal percentage (.259) in conference games.

Three Teams Battle For Two Tournament Spots
Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis and UC Riverside are grappling for the two remaining slots in the conference tournament.  With 5-9 Big West records, the Titans and Highlanders have the inside track on the 3-11 Aggies.  CSF and UCR would clinch tournament berths with one more win.  However, the Aggies would make the field in a three-way tie at 5-11 with CSF and UCR, but must defeat Cal State Northridge and the Titans at home this week.

Close Games Common In Big West
Of the 65 conference games that have been played, 23 have been decided by five points or less.  Six contests have been determined by one point, two by two points, four by three points, six by four points and five by five points.

Single Session Tickets Are On Sale
Single session tickets for the 2011 ampm Big West Basketball Tournament went on sale to the general public on Tuesday, February 22.  Fans may purchase tickets through Honda Center Box Office or Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com).  Honda Center Box Office hours are from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, please call (714) 704-2500 or visit the ampm Big West Basketball Tournament website at www.bigwesttourney2011.com.

Tickets for the event range from $10-$22 for general admission seats for the women’s tournament games and $27-$34 for reserved seating at men’s tournament games.  Big West students can purchase a ticket to any Honda Center session for $10 with a valid student I.D.
 
In November of 2009, Honda Center announced a five-year partnership with the Big West Conference to host its annual men’s and women’s post-season basketball tournament beginning with the 2010-11 season.  Each year the winner of the three-day single-elimination playoff receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Big West and Honda Center also are mutually hosting their fifth NCAA event with the upcoming 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball West Regional.  Previous events took place in 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2008.

Double OT Delight
For some teams, it might take several years before an opportunity to play in a double overtime game arises.  Try telling that to UC Irvine.  The Anteaters have played in three double OT marathons this season alone, including back-to-back ones last weekend.  UCI defeated UC Davis (96-87) and Pacific (97-86) to improve to 2-1 in double OT affairs.  UCI and UCD played in another double OT game on Jan. 29 in Davis, a game the Aggies won 108-107.

Dangerous Duo
UC Santa Barbara’s Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally are set to break the school record for most points in a season by a duo.  The two have combined for 1,013 points and look to surpass the record of 1,019 set twice - in 2007-08 by Alex Harris and James Powell and in 2006-07 by Harris and Chris Devine.  Johnson continues to pace the Big West in scoring at 20.8 points per game and has scored in double figures in all 57 career games as a Gaucho.  Nunnally is fourth in the conference with 16.7 points per game.

Willard Joins Big West Rebounding Pantheon
Pacific senior Sam Willard moved into the Big West career top 10 in rebounds last weekend, taking the No. 9 spot with 855 boards.  He is the first player to crack that list in 15 years, needing 31 more rebounds to surpass Utah State’s Eric Franson (1991, 1993-96) for the No. 8 position.

Thomason Could Tie Wins Record This Week
Pacific’s Bob Thomason is two wins shy of tying Jerry Tarkanian’s record for most victories by a Big West head coach and could equal the mark at home this week.  Tarkanian won a combined 405 games during tenures at Long Beach State and UNLV, while Thomason is 403-287 in his 23rd season at Pacific.

Follow Your Team On BigWest.TV
The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring you exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews, and features to your home via the Internet!  Now in its sixth year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in men’s basketball as well as women’s basketball and volleyball.  Also covered are select contests in men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, and Big West Conference Championships.  A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive coverage to you.  If you can’t make it to the gym or the field, you can still catch the action on BigWest.TV!

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