Senior guard Casper Ware scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half, leading the Long Beach State 49ers to a 69-61 victory over the Idaho Vandals at Walter Pyramid on Saturday afternoon. Ware, who led the 49ers in points, assists, and steals last season, dished out four assists and had two steals in the game.
The 49ers trailed by two at the break, but guards Ware and Larry Anderson scored 24 points after halftime to lead the comeback effort. Long Beach State outrebounded Idaho 31-27, and forced 18 turnovers on the day.
The 49ers had three players make the preseason All-Big West Team in Ware, Anderson, and T.J. Robinson, and that trio combined for 46 points, two thirds of the team's total points. Ware, Robinson, and Anderson combined to make 16 of 33 shots from the field, including six of 12 from three-point range. Robinson added 11 rebounds to his 10 points for a double-double, and Robinson led the team with seven assists.
Long Beach State has beaten Idaho four straight times, and leads the all-time series with their former Big West foe 11-7.
Up next for the 49ers is a trip to Pittsburgh, a tough road test against a team ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press poll and No. 11 in the ESPN / USA Today coaches poll.