Jan. 28, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. -
James Ennis scored 19 points including 13 in the final 7:03 as Long Beach State pulled away Saturday night in the final 3 minutes for a 75-61 Big West Conference victory over Cal State Fullerton.
The 49ers improved to 16-6, 9-0 while Fullerton fell to 13-7, 5-3 after getting 20 points and 7 rebounds from Omondi Amoke. A Pyramid record crowd of 5,649 was on hand along with an ESPNU television audience and saw the 49ers score 15 of the final 17 points.
The Titans had rallied from a 10-point deficit to tie the game at both 51 and later 53 at 6:35. Ennis hit a 3-pointer to put the 49ers ahead for good and it was his 3-point play at 3:48 that made it 63-59 and triggered a 12-0 run that didn't end until Kwame Vaughn hit two free throws with 59 seconds left.
Isiah Umipig scored 12 points to fuel Fullerton's second-half rally and finished with a total of 16.
"Coming into the game our only chance to win was to cutdown on the turnovers because they run so well," said Fullerton Coach Bob Burton. "But you can't win when you have 21 turnovers.
"But we were right where you want to be on the road with a chance, a 1-point game with about 4 minutes to go. They hit us and we didn't respond. It was a great environment."
Long Beach shot 25 free throws while the Titans attempted only 4. Both Amoke and D. J. Seeley fouled out in the final minutes.
Freshman guard Mike Caffey came off the bench to score 9 points to lead Long Beach to a 39-32 halftime lead.
The teams traded baskets for the first 10 minutes with Fullerton's biggest lead 3 points and Long Beach's 5 before they were tied at 20-20 at 9:58. Long Beach edged away to lead by as many as 8 points at 36-28.
Amoke made 9 of 15 shots and Orane Chin was 4-for-6 but the rest of the team went 13-for-36 with Vaughn, Thursday night's hero, 0-for-7.
The game was Fullerton's sixth road contest in the last seven. It is home next week for Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.