Casper Ware scored seven points and had four assists in the first half as the No. 12 seed Long Beach State 49ers are within four points of the No. 5 seed New Mexico Lobos, trailing 33-29 at halftime in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament from the Rose Garden in Portland on Thursday afternoon. The 49ers also got guard Larry Anderson back after he missed the Big West Tournament with a sprained right knee. Anderson scored no points but played nine minutes in the first half.
Ware hit two of four shots from three-point range for Long Beach State, who shot 48.1% (13 for 27) in the first half. T.J. Robinson had eight points and six rebounds for the 49ers.
Demetrius Walker led a balanced scoring attack for the Lobos with nine points. New Mexico shot 50% (12 for 24) in the opening half. The game was close throughout the first 20 minutes, with neither team led by more than six points. Drew Gordon added six points and three rebounds for New Mexico.
The winner of today's contest will face the No. 4 seed Louisville Cardinals on Saturday.