Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Live Blog: Men's Basketball vs. UC Davis 1/12/2011

Live updates from court side at the Pyramid

Wednesday night and once again we are in the Pyramid, this time with a few added ESPN cameras, as Long Beach State and their 4-0 record welcome UC Davis to the house that Walter built. The Aggies come in with a 1-3 conference record, but it's still early, and the Big West may be one of the primest examples of a league full of teams that "on any given night" can pull out a win, so regardless of record, Long Beach will have to stay focused and stick to their game plan to keep their perfect conference record.

Keys to the game

- Defense. Defense. Defense. I think I have started each of these key points by first focusing on defense, and for good reason, when Long Beach gets stops and run in the open court they can literally be unstoppable.

That d will be focused on containing Joe Harden. The 6'8 guard is the Aggies' leading scorer and presents match up problems because of his size and skills. The Aggies often look to penetrate and then kick out to their shooters, so the 49ers defense will have to be quick to on their rotations.

- Cas be Cas. The 49ers' point guard is the engine that drives the offense not only creating shots for others (leading the conference in assists shows that), but driving to the lane and stepping back and continuing his hot shooting streak from downtown are all in Ware's arsenal. Once Ware gets going, he will be tough for the Aggies contain

- Pedal to the metal. Davis doesn't want this game to turn in to a track meet, their lack of depth and style of play don't fit well in to an uptempo game. If Long Beach State can force turnovers, limit possessions to one shot and get up and down the court in a hurry the 49ers should be in good shape.

Starting lineups

UC Davis
Guard Ryan Silva
Guard Eddie Miller
Guard Joe Harden
Guard Ryan Sypkens
Center Mike Kurtz

Long Beach State
Guard Greg Plater
Guard Larry Anderson
Guard Casper Ware
Forward Eugene Phelps
Forward T.J. Robinson

15:31 left in first half LBSU 9 - UCD 4
'Niners win the tip and immediately feed Phelps, sending him to the line where he sinks both his shots. Nice pass out of the post from T.J. Robinson to Greg Plater for a corner three. If Greg can get off to a hot shooting start it would do wonders to open up the paint for the bangers.

Joe Harden the only player to score thus far for the Aggies as he works his way to the line and will shoot free throws after the media.

11:58 left in first half LBSU 11 - UCD 8
Long Beach doing some quick substitutions this game, with Edis and Tristan Wilson both seeing early minutes. 49ers look a bit sluggish on offense with some lazy passes and unforced errors.

Long Beach finally works a good looking possession, make a few passes and Wilson is found for the easy layup.

7:15 left in first LBSU 13 - UCD 16
Ryan Silva hits a three from the corner to tie the game at 11. But Harden hits a three of his own a few possessions later to give the Aggies the lead back.

Long Beach just can't finish their shots right now.

24.9 seconds left in first half LBSU 24 - UCD 22
Finally, Long Beach is able to get a turnover leading to an easy run out and flush by Larry. A couple of offensive rebounds give LBSU some extra shots and leads to a nice Greg Plater jumper. The 49er defense is forcing Davis to use the entire shot clock nearly every possession. After a Anderson layup, Davis calls timeout for the last shot.

End of first half LBSU 24 - UCD 24
It looked like Long Beach State had stolen the Aggies' chance at a shot before halftime, but Casper's down court feed was stolen away and ended up leading to a Harden layup. We're all tied up at the half.

16:25 left in second half LBSU 31 - UCD 31
Defensive intensity helps LBSU force a shot clock violation and and a Plater three on the other end. But turnovers still plaguing the 49ers. Still no team can create any separation.

11:18 left in second half LBSU 37 - UCD 31
Another shot clock violation forced by the Long Beach State defense but the offense can't capitalize. Long Beach working their way to the line this half, but they aren't converting.

Tristan Wilson with a tip in on a fast break. The defense is getting stops, but the 49ers need to convert to create some separation.

8:53 left in second half LBSU 47 - UCD 33
The offense may not be firing on all cylinders tonight, but the defense is giving absolutely nothing to the Aggies. Every single possession Davis is being forced to take a bad shot at the end of the shot clock. Phelps finishes a three point play the old fashioned way and just like that Davis is forced to take a timeout.

3:57 left in second half LBSU 52 - UCD 44
Alex Tiffin of Davis called for the over the back call, his fifth foul. Sending Eugene to the line for 1-and-1, but he can't sink his shots at the line. Turnovers still costing Long Beach State possessions.

1:36 left in second half LBSU 56 - UCD 50
Long Beach not making the smart plays with their lead, another turnover leads to an easy layup on the other end for the Aggies.

53.9 left in second half LBSU 56 - UCD 52
Larry makes a hard move to the rack, but is called for an offensive foul. Harden called for a charge on the other end, but as LBSU inbounds the ball, Casper falls down and Davis makes an easy lay in.

25.2 left in second half LBSU 57 - UCD 55
Long Beach can't hold on to the defensive rebound, fumbling the ball around multiple times until Davis is able to knock down a three.

After a Davis miss and pass to Casper Ware he was fouled, but refs headed to monitor to see if Ware threw an intentional elbow. He was called for the foul. Harden split his free throws and Davis couldn't convert on any last minute buzzer beaters. LBSU moves to 5-0 in conference.

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