Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#757 Pacific 134 vs.
#758 Long Beach State -1
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#757 Pacific University
#758 California State University, Long Beach
8-3
3-6
15-15-1
18-12-2
13-18
18-14
66
74
70
75

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A pair of teams from the Golden State take the college hardwood in non-conference play when the WCC takes on the Big West. The Pacific Tigers make the in-state trek to face the Long Beach State 49ers Saturday night. Pacific comes in off a 62-59 home win over CSU Fullerton Wednesday night in their previous contest. Long Beach State fell 95-79 to Penn in the third-place game of the Wooden Legacy on Sunday in their last game. The 49ers lead the all-time series 56-39 but the Tigers have taken the last two meetings. That includes a 74-68 home win in the most recent contest on December 10, 2018.

Pacific Tigers Seek Fourth Straight Win

Pacific earned a third straight victory with a hard-fought triumph at home over CSU Fullerton their last time out. The Tigers step out on the road for just the second time this season: they lost their previous outing, 72-67 at Hawaii, last month. Pacific led by five at the half against CSU Fullerton and extended their lead to nine midway through the second half. With the game tied at 57 with 4:19 to play, the Tigers held the Titans scoreless for the next 3:22 and did just enough offensively to escape with the win. Pacific shot an even 50 percent from the floor, including four of nine from three-point range, and overcame a 10 of 19 showing at the free throw line. Jahlil Tripp (10 boards) and Gary Chivichyan each had 16 points to lead the Tigers.

The Tigers put up an average of 69.7 points per game on the season coming into this one. Pacific grabs 37.2 boards a night while dishing out 11.7 assists per contest. The Tigers are elite so far this season defensively as they rank 18th in scoring defense by allowing 58.7 points a night. Jahlil Tripp leads the Tigers with 12.5 points plus 6.9 rebounds a game this season. Justin Moore (10.7 points, 3.5 assists) is the only other player averaging in double figures on the year. Broc Finsteun, Gary Chivichyan, Amari McCray, James Hampshire, Austin Vereen, Jeremiah Bailey, Daniss Jenkins, and Pierre Crockrell III are all part of a deep Pacific rotation this season. Pacific shoots 47 percent from the field as a team this season. The Tigers are draining 5.6 triples a night while hitting 33.9 percent from beyond the arc. Pacific is sputtering at the charity stripe, cashing in only 62.6 percent of their attempts this season.

Long Beach State 49ers Looking to Regroup

Long Beach State couldn’t build off the momentum of their opening-round upset of Providence in the Wooden Legacy as they fell by double-digits to Wake Forest and Penn in the next two games. The 49ers return home here battle-tested and ready to go after several days of rest. Long Beach State was tied at the half but seemed to have left their remaining energy in the locker room. The 49ers gave up a 13-4 run in the opening five minutes of the second half to go down nine and couldn’t recover. Long Beach State shot 52.3 percent from the field, including five of 10 from three-point range, in the loss. The 49ers also missed half of their 12 free throws, turned the ball over 16 times and allowed Penn to shoot 51.4 percent in the game. Chance Hunter led Long Beach State with 24 points in the loss.

The 49ers are averaging 71.1 points per game this season, which is 221st in the nation. Long Beach State collects 32.4 boards a night while dishing out 12.8 assists per contest. The 49ers are a dismal 331st in scoring defense as they allow 79.1 points a night. Chance Hunter leads the team with 15.8 points per game this season. Michael Carter III (13.8 points, 3.8 assists) is the only other player averaging in double figures this season for the 49ers. Colin Slater, Joshua Morgan, Drew Cobb, Jordan Griffin, and Max de Geest have to be more consistent on the offensive end to help out. Long Beach State shoots 46.7 percent from the field as a team. The 49ers average 5.7 three-pointers a game while shooting 36.2 percent from long range. Long Beach State shoots a mediocre 66.9 percent from the line as a team this season.

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Long Beach State has struggled this season but they have faced some quality competition. The 49ers have already faced UCLA, Stanford, Providence, Wake Forest and Penn in addition to ranked Saint Mary’s and Arizona squads. That’s some pretty stiff competition for a weaker mid-major to take on in the early part of the season. Long Beach State is 2-0 at home this season while Pacific lost its lone road game. The Tigers’ best win might be over UC Riverside as they lost to South Dakota, Hawaii and Boise State. Given the difference in competition, it’s easy to see why one team is 8-3 and the other 3-6 on the year. Playing at home helps Long Beach State and they find a way to claw one out here.

Prediction: Long Beach State 49ers -1.5

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Long Beach State has been decent offensively but their defense has been a sieve all season long. The 49ers are allowing opposing teams to shoot 46.7 percent from the field, including 35.3 percent from the floor. Some of that can be chalked up to the competition the 49ers have faced but they have to be better as we close in on conference play. Pacific has done the job defensively, holding the opposition to 38.6 percent from the field. The Tigers did lose their lone true road game of the season. Will they be able to close down the 49ers in this one?

The over is 4-1 in the Tigers' last 5 games following an ATS loss and 4-1-1 in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400. Long Beach State has seen the over go 5-1 in their last six overall, 8-2 in their last 10 on Saturday and 4-1 in their last five against teams with a winning percentage above .600 on the year. Given the way that the 49ers have struggled defensively, this one has the makings of a higher scoring game than Pacific tends to play, pushing it over the mark.

Prediction: Over 134.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.