49ers edge Warriors in Big West thriller
LONG BEACH, Calif. – James Caffey scored 18 points, including the game-winning driving layup with 1.7 seconds remaining to lead Long Beach State to a 76-72 victory over Hawaii in a thrilling Big West Conference game on Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors trailed throughout the second half, but managed to tie the game at 72 with 1:08 remaining.
Long Beach State had possession of the ball with 13.8 seconds remaining, and Caffey weaved through the Hawai’i defense and put in a floater from just inside the key.
Brandon Jawato led the Warriors with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Vander Joaquim added 13 points and six rebounds.
Hawai’i dropped to 9-7 overall and 3-2 in the conference with its second consecutive loss on this road trip. Long Beach State improved to 8-8 and is in first place at 4-1.
The Warriors jumped to an early 14-7 lead, but the 49ers went on a 12-1 run midway through the first half to take a 35-28 advantage.
Long Beach eventually took a 43-36 lead at intermission, thanks mostly to 8-of-16 shooting from 3-point range. Peter Pappageorge and Deng Deng both came off the bench in the first half and combined to go 5 for 7 from 3-point range.
Hawai’i also went to its bench early and often, with Davis Rozitis, Ozren Pavlovic, Garrett Jefferson, Hauns Brereton and Brandon Jawato all getting minutes.
The 49ers stayed in front for the first 17 minutes of the second half. The Warriors cut it to 67-64 after a steal and layup by Jawato with just under four minutes remaining. Then Jawato tied it moments later with a 3-pointer from just in front of the Hawai’i bench.
The 49ers regained the lead on the ensuing possession on an off-balance layup by James Ennis with just under three minutes remaining.
Jawato later tied the game again at 72 with another 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining. Long Beach State had a chance to go ahead on the next possession, but Dan Jennings air-balled two free throw attempts.
Hawai’i committed a turnover on its next possession, which allowed Caffey to make his game-winning drive.
After Caffey’s final basket, Hawai’i attempted a length-of-the-court pass, but Rozitis was called for a foul. Head coach Gib Arnold argued the call and was assessed a technical – his second of the game.
Long Beach State then hit two free throws for the final margin.
More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be posted later.