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The 49ers of Cal State Long Beach (Big West Conference) will make their first appearance in the Kennel on Friday. It's been 40 years since these teams met. The 49ers won 90-83 on Feb. 2, 1962 and the Zags won the rematch in Spokane the following November, 78-74, in a game played in the old Spokane Coliseum.
Long Beach State is 1-6 on the season after dropping two games last week, falling at home to San Diego State (64-55) and on the road at Loyola Marymount (76-68). The 49ers have lost five games in a row, including dropping a close match with Pepperdine. The 49ers only victory has come against non-D1 opponent Cal State Monterey Bay.
The Beach is coached by first year man Larry Reynolds who took over the reins after five years at DII Cal State San Bernardino where he led the Coyotes to two NCAA Division II Elite Eight appearances.
The 49ers top scoring threat is Tony Darden who had 18 points in a recent loss to LMU at Gersten Pavilion and had 20 in a home court loss to San Diego State. An excellent shooter, Darden is averaging 18.4 ppg; he's hit on .444 of his three point attempts and is .875 at the free throw line. His season high has been 24 pts. against Cal State Monterey Bay.
The 49ers' most productive big man had been 6'7" junior forward Kevin Roberts from Petaluma, California. Roberts had 14 points in a recent loss to Utah. Roberts lead The Beach in rebounding with 6.1 boards per game.
On the season, the 49ers are shooting .433 from the field, .326 from the arc, and .675 from the charity stripe.
Long Beach has four opponents from the West Coast Conference on its schedule this season. The 49ers have already played Pepperdine at home (loss) and Loyola Marymount (loss) on the road. Following this week's game against the Zags, Long Beach will host Portland on December 30. Last year the 49ers were 0-2 vs. the WCC and have lost four in a row to the conference. The last win over a WCC team was on December 18, 2000 when the 49ers won at Loyola Marymount, 57-54.