In the first match-up of the Big West basketball tournament, top seeded Long Beach State defeated UC Irvine 79-72. While the two teams went back and forth during the first half, going into halftime 30-29 in favor of Long Beach State, the 49ers took over int he second half. never conceding the lead again. The game kicked off a weekend of basketball set to take place in Anaheim.
Casper Ware led Long Beach State with 23 points. He tied UCI’s Eric Wise for that point total, though Ware had the benefit of shooting 6-12 from beyond the arc. While Ware had an exceptional day from long range, both teams relied heavily on the three pointer, combining for 31 three point attempts. Irvine saw two of it’s starters foul out, as well as Mike Wilder, who came off the bench. LBS took advantage, shooting 25-33 from the free throw line.
Long Beach State split the season series with UC Irvine. They will now face the lowest remaining seed after Thursday’s action.
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