Long Beach State (2-3) at Loyola Marymount (3-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 29, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gersten Pavilion (4,156) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: None. Home Record: LBSU 1-1, LMU 1-0. Away Record: LBSU 1-2, LMU 1-2. Neutral Record: LBSU 0-0, LMU 1-1. Conference Record: LBSU 0-0, LMU 0-0. Series Record: Long Beach State leads, 18-7.
GAME NOTES: Back home for just the second time this season, the Lions of Loyola Marymount are set to welcome the Long Beach State 49ers to Gersten Pavilion on Thursday night.
LMU, which opened the 2012-13 campaign with a 108-49 thrashing of Pacifica at home on Nov. 9, is back from the Great Alaska Shootout where it bowed in two of three decisions. The squad scored a 78-63 win over Texas State on Friday, but then lost to host Alaska Anchorage a day later in an 83-77 final.
As for the 49ers, they too began the new season on a positive note with a 75-65 victory over North Alabama, but then came three straight setbacks to USC, North Carolina and Arizona. The program was finally able to snap the slide with a 69-61 triumph over Fresno State on Sunday.
The 49ers lead the all-time series by a count of 18-7, although LMU has won two straight over LBSU, including an 80-77 overtime affair two years ago.
The 49ers focused their efforts on getting the starting five on track against Fresno State last weekend, the quintet accounting for all but four of the team's points as Peter Pappageorge registered a game-high 23 points. Mike Caffey added 13 points and six assists, followed by Dan Jennings and James Ennis with 12 and 11 points, respectively, the latter adding nine rebounds and the former seven boards as the group survived 15 turnovers. Ennis may be shooting only 26.1 percent from three-point range thus far, but he is still the leading scorer overall for the 49ers with his 15.6 ppg and is second on the glass with seven boards per outing. Caffey (11.2 ppg) and Pappageorge (10.6 ppg) have combined with Ennis to nail down 41-of-49 at the free-throw line and yet the team as a whole is shooting just 64.5 percent at the stripe.
Despite shooting just 26.9 percent from the floor and allowing Alaska Anchorage to make good on 53.8 percent from the field in the first half, the Lions trailed by just six points at the break at Sullivan Arena last week. Unfortunately, that six-point difference was there at the end of the game as well, partly due to the fact that LMU shot a disappointing 22-of-38 at the free-throw line. Anthony Ireland tallied a game-high 26 points before fouling out, followed by Ashley Hamilton and Nick Stover with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Ayodeji Egbeyemi shot only 2-of-10 from the field but finished with a game-high 12 rebounds from his guard position. One of the top scorers in the nation, Ireland is responsible for 23.5 ppg, while placing second on the unit in both rebounding (6.7 rpg) and assists (26). Hamilton (13.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Egbeyemi (12.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) help to form a powerful trio that can control the action in the paint.
LMU may have lost the last time out, but getting back home should give the team some much-needed energy as they take care of the 49ers on Thursday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola Marymount 79, Long Beach State 72
11/29 10:37:11 ET