Long Beach State faces uphill climb in tussle with Texas

Dec 20, 2014 - 3:47 PM Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The ninth-ranked Texas Longhorns have won two straight games since a defeat at top-seeded Kentucky, and will seek a third Saturday, as they entertain the Long Beach State 49ers in a non-conference clash at the Frank Erwin Center.

Long Beach State enters the game against Texas having lost its last two outings, including a very narrow 60-59 contest against San Diego State on the road. The 5-6 49ers are on their third contest of a six-game road trip.

Texas suffered a 12-point defeat to Kentucky back on Dec. 5, but the Longhorns have bounced back nicely with two straight wins, including a dominant 106-61 victory over Lipscomb on Tuesday. Texas is 9-1 on the year, and in the midst of a five-game homestand.

This meeting will be the eighth in the all-time series between Long Beach State and Texas. The Longhorns hold the advantage in the series, 4-3, and won the most recent contest between the programs, 107-74, back in 2009.

Long Beach State found itself down by four points with 14 seconds to go against 18th-ranked San Diego State in its last outing. The 49ers were able to get within one, but a half-court buzzer beater lipped off the front rim for LBSU as the 49ers dropped the one-point loss. Mike Caffey scored 20 points to pace Long Beach State, and Tyler Lamb contributed 13 points in the losing effort. The 49ers only attempted two free throws in the loss.

Caffey and Lamb have provided the bulk of the offense for the 49ers this season. Caffey leads the team entering the game with Texas, netting 17.8 ppg on 49.3 percent shooting. He also leads the squad with a 3.8 apg average and 20 steals. Lamb checks in at 10.7 ppg, though the UCLA transfer has played in two fewer games than the rest of the team. David Samuels owns a 5.5 rpg mark, which is the most on Long Beach State through 11 games. The 49ers have struggled to contain opponent scoring, as they enter this matchup allowing 71.7 ppg on 42.3 percent shooting.

It was an uneven matchup for the Longhorns against Lipscomb. Texas absolutely dominated the visiting squad, rushing to a 58-32 halftime lead behind 59.4 percent shooting from the floor. Although only three players scored in double figures for the Longhorns, led by Myles Turner's 26-point effort, the team still managed 106 points in the win, thanks largely to 58 bench points. Jonathan Holmes chipped in 17 points, and Jordan Barnett added 11 in the win.

Isaiah Taylor is still out for Texas with a broken left wrist, so his 15.0 ppg through three games played still won't be back out on the court. But Turner's 26-point explosion earned him the team's top scoring average, entering this clash netting 12.5 ppg. He's trailed closely by Holmes and his 12.3 ppg mark. Texas has prided itself largely on defense this season, holding opponents to just 51.9 ppg on a sensationally low 30.6 shooting percentage. The Longhorns enter the game averaging 72.4 ppg this season.

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