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Men's Basketball

Long Beach State Takes 12-Game Win Streak To Creighton For Sears BracketBusters

Files associated with this release:
Men's Basketball Release No. 15

2/13/2012

Long Beach State travels to Creighton for a SEARS BracketBusters showdown this Saturday on ESPN2. The 49ers carry a 12-game win streak into the matchup and a successful outcome would give the program its second consecutive 20-win season.

NOTEWORTHY

KEEP AN EYE ON

Josh Ritchart, UC Davis
Ritchart played a huge role in helping UC Davis end an 18-game losing streak as he posted his first career-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds against Cal State Northridge.  The 13 rebounds represented a career-best as the Aggies won 79-71.  The sophomore followed up that performance with a career-best 24 points in an 89-69 loss to first place Long Beach State.  He knocked down a career-high seven three-pointers for the game, making 6 of 8 after halftime after going 1 for 6 from beyond the arc in the first.  Ritchart ranks fifth in the Big West with 2.4 threes made per game and his 12.3 points per game is No. 11.

MORE NOTABLES

49ers Tie School Record For Best League Start

Long Beach State won twice on the road last week to increase its winning streak to 12 in a row.  The victories over Pacific and UC Davis also tightened on the 49er strangehold on first place in the Big West.  LBSU is 12-0 in Big West action and has a healthy lead on second place pursuers Cal State Fullerton (16-7, 8-3) and UC Santa Barbara (13-8, 8-3).  The Gauchos and Titans are included among LBSU’s final four regular season conference opponents.

The 49ers are idle in league action this week, but could earn a share of the conference championship in the process.  A Cal State Fullerton loss to UC Riverside coupled with a UC Santa Barbara setback to UC Irvine – both games are on Wednesday – would give the 49ers no worse than a co-championship.

The 12-0 record ties the 49er program record for best conference start.  The 1973-74 squad went undefeated at 12-0 back when the Big West was known as the Pacific Coast Athletic Association (PCAA). This year’s  LBSU outfit attempts to take sole possession of that record when UC Santa Barbara visits the Walter Pyramid for a Feb. 22 matchup on ESPN2.

Sizing Up Long Beach State’s 12-0 Beginning

Long Beach State is the 10th team in Big West/PCAA history to begin conference play at least 12-0.  The others are as follows:

Year School League Start
2004-05 Pacific 18-0
1991-92 UNLV 18-0
1990-91 UNLV 18-0
1986-87 UNLV 18-0
1999-00 Utah State 16-0
1982-83 UNLV 14-0 (finished 15-1)
2011-12 Long Beach State 12-0 (finished ???)
2003-04 Utah State 12-0 (finished 17-1)
1985-86 UNLV 12-0 (finished 16-2)
1973-74 Long Beach State 12-0

It Must Be Mentioned...
Only eight teams have previously finished Big West/PCAA play with an undefeated record.  The most recent squads to do so included Pacific in 2004-05 (18-0) and Utah State in 1999-2000 (16-0), the only two unblemished marks in the last 20 years.  The complete list is as follows:

Year School League Start
2004-05 Pacific 18-0
1991-92 UNLV 18-0
1990-91 UNLV 18-0
1986-87 UNLV 18-0
1999-00 Utah State 16-0
1973-74 Long Beach State 12-0
1970-71 Long Beach State 10-0
1969-70 Long Beach State 10-0

Streak Chatter
Endurance of success has propelled Long Beach State into some rather impressive streaks as the Big West regular season heads into the home stretch.

• The 49ers have won 20 straight regular season games against Big West opponents.  They last lost a conference regular season game on Jan. 22, 2011 to UC Irvine.

• The 49ers have won 19 consecutive games overall in the Walter Pyramid, including a 9-0 record this season.  They have not lost at home since falling to Loyola Marymount on Nov. 27, 2010.

• LBSU has been victorious in 11 straight Big West road games.  The streak started after that Jan. 22, 2011 loss to UCI.

• Defense has keyed much of these streaks, especially during the current 12-game bonanza.  LBSU is 17-0 this season when it holds a team below the 70-point mark.

Big Showdown On Tap In SEARS BracketBusters
Long Beach State has played the nation’s No. 1 non-conference strength of schedule with eight opponents ranked in the most recent NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) top 100.  The 49ers have played the likes of Kansas (No. 5), North Carolina (No. 8), Louisville (No. 20), San Diego State (No. 22), Kansas State (No. 53), Xavier (No. 57), Pittsburgh (No. 76) and Montana (No. 97).  Add a ninth team to the mix in Creighton, which is No. 27 in the RPI.  The 49ers travel to Omaha, Neb., to face the Bluejays on Saturday in an ESPN2 showdown as part of the 10th annual SEARS BracketBusters, a two-day event pitting NCAA Championship hopefuls.  Tip time is 7:00 p.m. (PST).

Robinson Is Big West Career Rebound Record Holder
Long Beach State senior T.J. Robinson broke the Big West record for career records at the 18:16 mark of the second half in Saturday’s win at UC Davis.  It was career rebound No. 1,116, breaking a 27-year old mark held by Cal State Fullerton’s Tony Neal (1981-85).  Robinson finished the game with 14 points and 11 rebounds for his Big West leading 13th double-double.  Earlier this season, Robinson became just the fourth player in Big West history to compile 1,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds.  Neal, UNLV’s Stacey Augmon and Utah State’s Greg Grant are the others.

BIG WEST CAREER REBOUNDS
Rk.    Player, School    Yrs.    No.
1.    T.J. Robinson, Long Beach State    2008-pres.    1,119
2.    Tony Neal, Cal State Fullerton    1981-85    1,115
3.    Stacey Augmon, UNLV    1988-91    1,005
4.    Greg Grant, Utah State    1983-86    1,003
5.    Ron Cornelius, Pacific    1978-81    973   
 
Ware Sets Assists Record
Long Beach State’s Casper Ware, a two-time finalist for the Bob Cousy Award to honor the nation’s top point guard, took over sole possession of the school’s career assist record with two assists against UC Davis.  The 5-10 senior scooted past Billy Walker (1985-88) and into 10th place on the Big West all-time list.  Ware’s 509 career assists leaves him just seven short of moving up to No. 8 on the Big West chart.

Titans Ranked No. 15 Nationally In Scoring Offense
Cal State Fullerton scored 99 points against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 4, helped in large part by a school record  17 three-pointers.  The Titans didn’t cool off in their next outing against UC Irvine.  They scored 60 second half points to overcome a seven-point halftime deficit, defeating the Anteaters 100-94 on Saturday.  CSF hit the 100-point mark for the second time this season.  The Titans made nine three-pointers against UCI and continue to lead the Big West with 8.6 threes per game.  CSF is 10-0 this season when it hits 10 or more threes in a game.