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Men's Basketball

Full Feast Of Games On Men's Basketball Plate

Files associated with this release:
Men's Basketball Release No. 3


The Thanksgiving holiday features a full spread of games, including Pacific's Bob Thomason going for sole possession of the Big West all-time wins record and UC Riverside participating in the fifth annual 76 Classic.



D. J. Seeley, Cal State Fullerton
Seeley, a transfer from California, made a significant impact for the Titans en route to the championship of the Beryl Shipley Classic in Lafayette, La.  The junior guard earned Most Valuable Player honors after leading the tourney with 61 points as the Titans went 2-1.  Seeley sparked Fullerton against the host Ragin’ Cajuns, scoring nine points in an 11-2 run that unzipped a 52-52 tie and put his team ahead, 63-54 with 3:44 to play.  He posted back-to-back 18-point efforts against Nicholls State and Louisiana-Lafayette, and closed out the weekend with 25 points on 8 of 18 shooting in an 88-83 loss to Houston Baptist.


Signature Win For The Beach
Long Beach State knocked off the nation’s ninth-ranked team to highlight last week in Big West men’s basketball.  The 49ers shot 59.3 percent and collected 24 assists on 32 made baskets to hand Pittsburgh only its second loss by a non-Big East team inside the Petersen Events Center.  It also ended a 58-game home non-conference win streak by the Panthers.  The 49ers started off a brutal stretch against nationally ranked opponents, which continues on Nov. 28 at No. 7 Louisville, Dec. 6 at No. 14 Kansas and Dec. 10 at No. 1 North Carolina.  LBSU also faces No. 12 Xavier in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawai’i on Dec. 23.  The 49ers defeated the highest ranked non-conference opponent by a Big West team since UC Irvine dealt No. 13 Stanford a 79-63 setback on Nov. 19, 2005.

Date Opponent *Ranking Result
Nov. 16 at Pittsburgh #9 AP/#9 USA Today W, 86-76
Nov. 28 at Louisville #7 AP/#7 USA Today  
Dec. 6 at Kansas #14 AP/#14 USA Today  
Dec. 10 at North Carolina #1 AP/#1 USA Today  
Dec. 23 vs. Xavier #12 AP/#12 USA Today  

* Ranking at time that game was played

Viva Las Mustangs
Cal Poly snapped a nine-game slide against opponents from the Pac-12 Conference by holding USC to a record low in points for a Mustang opponent.  The 42-36 decision at USC’s Galen Center also represented the fewest points scored in a win by Cal Poly during its 18-year Division I tenure.  One of the nation’s stingiest teams in 2010-11, ranking sixth in scoring defense (58.9 ppg), Cal Poly locked down on the Trojans in holding them to 31.6% (12 of 38) shooting for the game.  The game marked the start of the 2011 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.  The Mustangs continue competition on Tuesday at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center before shifting to the Orleans Arena for games on Friday and Saturday.  Through three games, the Mustangs already lead the Big West in scoring defense with an average of 49.3 points per game.

Favorite Long Beach State Takes On All Comers
Long Beach State, led by 2010-11 Big West Player of the Year Casper Ware and all-conference first team pick Larry Anderson, was picked to win this year’s regular season conference championship by a 24-member media voting panel.  The 49ers earned 20 first-place votes and 212 points, outdistancing second place UC Santa Barbara, which received the other four first-place nods and 196 points. Cal Poly came in third with 158 points and Cal State Fullerton was fourth with 131 points.  UC Riverside, Pacific, UC Davis, Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine rounded out the poll.  Long Beach State is tackling one of, if not the toughest non-conference schedules in the country after coming off a 22-12 season that ended in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Robinson Charges Up Rebounding Charts
Senior T.J. Robinson could vault into the Big West top five in career rebounding in the next one or two games.  The Long Beach State forward, who has averaged 10.1 rebounds per game in each of the last two seasons, already has gobbled up 32 caroms through three games in 2011-12.  He now has 893 career rebounds, the seventh-highest total in Big West history.  Robinson just surpassed a former Big West great in Armon Gilliam (1984-87), who totalled 890 boards at UNLV.  Next up on the list is former 49er standout Francois Wise (896 - 1977-80), the LBSU school record holder, and UC Santa Barbara’s Eric McArthur (904 - 1986-90).  The Robinson rebounding caravan visits the Walter Pyramid for a Tuesday home game against Boise State before trekking far north to a contest at Montana on Saturday. 

No. Player, School Years
1,115 Tony Neal, Cal State Fullerton 1981-85
1,005 Stacey Augmon, UNLV 1988-91
1,003  Greg Grant, Utah State 1983-86
973 Ron Cornelius, Pacific  1979-81
904 Eric McArthur, UC Santa Barbara 1986-90
896 Francois Wise, Long Beach State 1977-80
893 T.J. Robinson, Long Beach State 2008-12

Thomason Ties Big West Wins Record
Pacific’s Bob Thomason tied the all-time mark for most victories by a Big West head coach when the Tigers defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills 74-68 on Monday.  The win improved Thomason’s record to 405-291.  He now shares the mark for winningest head coach with Jerry Tarkanian, who won 405 games in stints at Long Beach State and UNLV.  The Tigers hope to hand over sole possession of the record to Thomason when they play at Hawai’i on Friday.  Meanwhile, UC Santa Barbara head coach Bob Williams is getting close to the school record of 222 victories currently head by Jerry Pimm.  Williams, who has 220 career wins, can tie the mark with successful outcomes against Portland and San Diego State this week.

Rk. Coach, School No.
1. Bob Thomason, Pacific 405
  Jerry Tarkanian, Long Beach State & UNLV 405
3. Neil McCarthy, New Mexico State 248
4. Jerry Pimm, UC Santa Barbara 222
5. Bob Williams, UC Santa Barbara 220

Bold denotes active Big West head coach

Highlanders Head To 76 Classic
UC Riverside is this year’s Big West’s entry into the fifth annual 76 Classic, one of the nation’s most prestigious college basketball tournaments.  The Highlanders, which open the tournament Thanksgiving Day against Villanova, compete in a field that also includes Boston College, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Saint Louis, Santa Clara and Washington State.  The three-day event at the Anaheim Convention Center will be televised on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.  Previous Big West participants include UC Irvine (2007), Cal State Fullerton (2008), Long Beach State (2009) and Cal State Northridge (2010).  The league has registered one victory in each of the last years, as the Titans toppled Charlotte, the 49ers downed UCLA and the Matadors dispatched DePaul. 

Bench Barrage
The youthful UC Irvine squad – no seniors on this year’s roster – is being utilized liberally by head coach Russell Turner.  As many as nine players are on the floor for double-digit minutes, and several players have stepped up to contribute.  The UCI bench has outscored its last two opponents by a 51-18 margin.