Stephen F. Austin spoils Senior Night
James Ennis and Peter Pappageorge said goodbye to the Pyramid on Friday evening, but they both proclaimed that their careers were far from over, as they plan on helping their team make a second straight run to the NCAA tournament.
Senior Night was spoiled for the two veteran Long Beach State basketball players, as Stephen F. Austin defeated the ‘Niners 68-60 in the Ramada Worldwide Bracketbuster game.
The Lumberjacks (23-3) used a 14-7 spurt late in the second half to propel themselves to an eleven point advantage and eventually the win.
After the game, Ennis and Pappageorge were honored and given framed jerseys.
“Everyone always asks me, is Peter really as good a kid we think he is?” LBSU head coach Dan Monson said to the crowd. “He’s not. He’s so much better. And James is very much the same.”
Monson went on to congratulate the seniors and ask the crowd to make the Honda Center feel like Long Beach home games during the Big West tournament three weeks from now.
Ennis extended his streak of double digit scoring to 32 games while finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a block.
Pappageorge was given the start and had five points, two rebounds, two steals and an assist in 28 minutes. The guard said loss can serve as an eye-opening experience, especially in a non-conference game that won’t hurt the ‘Niners in the standings.
“I think everyone’s disappointed, but it doesn’t really affect our season,” Pappageorge said. “It just might be a little bit of a reality check. We just need to take it as a positive and know we need to get back to work next week.”
Mike Caffey anchored the Beach (17-10) offensively, as he scored from all over the court en route to a career-high 24 points.
“I just tried to be more aggressive,” the sophomore guard said. “I tried to pass and cut, stay aggressive and keep the guard on his heels, and I scored a little bit.”
Monson said the loss is disappointing, but the team can improve by watching film and refocusing before heading back into conference play next week.
“As a coach and a competitor, losing is bad,” he said. “There’s no way to sit here and say that was a good loss. But I do think in the whole scope of our season that there can be a lot of positives out of this game. We need to get better and today really crystalized that. We were humbled, in that a team came into our house, and they were more physical than us.”
The Lumberjacks had four players in double figures and were led by Antonio Bostic, who poured in 21. Taylor Smith, the team’s leading scorer on the season and Hal Bateman added 15 apiece while Desmond Haymon chipped in 12, all in the second half.
LBSU returns to Big West Conference action Saturday when it travels to take on UC Irvine (15-13, 9-6 Big West) at 4 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox Sports West.