Michael Caffey scored nine points in the first half, helping the Long Beach St. 49ers to a 29-21 lead at halftime over the No. 14 Xavier Musketeers in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic Tournament at the Stan Sherrif Center in Honolulu. Xavier is playing without their second and third leading scorers, Mark Lyons and Dezmine Wells, who are serving suspensions for their role in a brawl with Cincinnati on December 10.
The 49ers are playing their fifth game against a team ranked in the top 14 of the AP poll this season, and looking for their second win against a ranked foe. Larry Anderson had seven points and three points for the 49ers in the first half. Long Beach State shot just 37% (10 for 27) in the first half, but did have seven assists to go with their 10 field goals.
Justin Martin scored 10 points to lead Xavier, who shot 34.8% (eight for 23) in the opening 20 minutes. Long Beach State did a great job limiting Xavier leading scorer Tu Holloway, who was limited to just three field goal attempts and five points in the opening half.
The winner of this game will battle the winner of Auburn vs. Hawaii on Friday night.