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Its the Big West Tournament and we will see the Long Beach State 49ers grapple with the Hawaii Warriors at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The Warriors won both meetings this year. Long Beach State went 8-8 in league play, while the Warriors were 9-7.
The Beach Is Seeking 6th Straight Win
The UC Irvine Anteaters are the best team in the league and the hottest as they have won 13 in a row, but the Long Beach State 49ers have been hot as well as they come in having won their last five games in a row. The 49ers finished the regular season at 14-18 overall, including 8-8 in league play, but they have momentum heading into this tournament. KenPom has them ranked 226th in the nation while taking on the 159th rated slate of games.
LBSU enters this game off a 70-57 home win over UC Riverside and it was their defense that led them, which is a bit odd as the defense has been their weak spot this year. The Highlanders shot 39.1% from long range in the game, but they also shot just 44.4% from the field overall and were forced into 15 turnovers. The offense had a good showing as they hit 49.1% of their shots overall, including 50% (10/20) of their shots from long range in the win while committing just eight turnovers. They did miss eight of 17 free throws and their free throw shooting could haunt them if this game is close. Leading their attack was Deishuan Booker (18.9 ppg) and Edon Maxhuni (7.4 ppg), who each had 21. LBSU has averaged 76.0 ppg and has allowed 76.3 ppg in league play this year.
Deishuan Booker of @LBSUhoops has made 46 STRAIGHT FREE THROWS. That's 6 short of tying the #BWCMBB record. Booker is the league's single-season record holder for free throws made (238). #GoBeach #PlayBig pic.twitter.com/N5Z9m6gMQN
— #BigWestMBB (@BigWestMBB) March 8, 2019
The 49ers enter this game ranked 109th in the nation in scoring at 75.3 ppg, while also ranking 249th in shooting (43.2%), 153rd in three-point shooting (34.9%) and 226th in free throw shooting (69.1%). On defense, they are 293rd in points allowed, giving up 76.3 ppg, while also ranking 216th in defensive FG% (44.3%) and 127th in three-point defense (33.4%).
Warriors Have little Momentum
The Hawaii Warriors had a solid season overall at 18-12, which included a 9-7 mark in league play. They did have a three-game losing streak down the stretch but finished the regular season with back-to-back road wins over Fullerton and UC Davis. They hope to ride the momentum to a first-round win in the Big West tournament. Hawaii is ranked 197th by KenPom and they have faced the 297th rated schedule.
The Warriors are off a nice 71-59 road win over Fullerton State and it was their defense that came up big in the win. They have allowed just 64 ppg over their last two games, after giving up 83.7 ppg over their previous three games. Hawaii held the Titans to just 41.8% shooting overall, including 35.3% (6/17) shooting from long range. They will need that kind of effort in this one. The offense wasn’t spectacular as they knocked down 42.6% of their shots overall, but they were 7/18 (38.9%) from long range. Leading their attack was Brocke Stepteau (10.4 ppg), who had 21 points. the Warriors have averaged 73.2 ppg and have allowed 70.2 p;pg in league play this year.
— HAWAII BASKETBALL (@HawaiiMBB) March 14, 2019
The Warriors enter this game ranked 180th in the nation in scoring at 72.5 ppg, while also ranking 139th in shooting (45.2%), 107th in three-point shooting (35.9%) and 216th in free throw shooting (69.4%). On defense, they are 109th in points allowed, giving up 68.8 ppg, while also ranking 241st in defensive FG% (44.8%) and 184th in three-point defense (34.2%).
- None Available
Long Beach State is:
- 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win
- The Under is 7-1 in their last 8 Thursday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the 49ers to take this one. Hawai did win their last two games and they have the better overall record, but they have faced one of the weakest schedules in the league. The 49 ERs had a slow start to their Big West Schedule,. but they have won their last five games in a row and I see them carrying that momentum to a win in this one. Take the 49ers.
Prediction: Long Beach State +2
Full-Game Total Pick
I can see this game going Under the total. This is tournament basketball and those games tend to be low-scoring. The 49ers have allowed just 68.3 ppg over their last four games, while Hawaii has been a very solid defensive team all year and they have allowed just 64 ppg in their last two games. I see no more than 138 points in this one.
Prediction: Under 145.5