The Long Beach State men’s basketball team snapped its five-game losing streak with a 70-47 win over Cal State Fullerton Saturday inside the Walter Pyramid.
The 49ers (14-16, 8-6) dispatched the last-place Titans (9-20, 1-13) behind sophomore guard Travis Hammonds, senior point guard Mike Caffey and senior forward David Samuels, who had another double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.
“I thought offensively we really made a commitment a concerted effort to make plays for others,” head coach Dan Monson said.
Hammonds had his best game of the season in his first shot at the starting lineup this year. He had a game-high 16 points on six of 11 shooting, including two three-pointers. Hammonds also picked up four rebounds.
“It felt good,” Hammonds said. “Like coach said earlier, it was something that he expects out of me. It’s good timing heading into March. You have to play your best basketball around this time. It felt good because I know I should be [starting].”
Monson said the way Hammonds played against Fullerton and in the Feb. 26 78-59 loss to Hawaii was the way he and the rest of the coaching staff expected him to play all season.
“In the offseason we projected, as we sat around as a staff, Travis was always one of our top two or three players,” Monson said. “With circumstances in the offseason and the preseason, we’re just getting the Travis Hammonds right now that we expected all year. The good thing is it’s not too late. Hopefully he can give us what we need in March.”
The 49ers had one of their best offensive performances of the season, shooting above 50 percent for much of the game until the final the few minutes where the offense eased up. Monson said he felt the team easily could’ve scored at least 80 points.
“We lost a lot of offensive swagger [during the losing streak],” Monson said. “Today was a great step in getting that team swagger back. We could’ve had whatever we needed today. We had a lot of guys in a flow, and their teammates got them in that flow.”
One of the guys who was in a flow all night was Caffey, who scored 13 points and dished out four assists. Caffey said finally ending the losing-streak was a major relief for him and the team.
“In my four years, I’ve never lost this many conference games in a row,” Caffey said. “It was kind of nagging and got to me mentally. But it’s a big relief to get the win and move forward heading into March.”
Monson said the losing-streak was all he thought about.
“I’m not going to lie,” Monson said. “You can sit there and rationalize in your head that’s it’s not a big deal, it’s only a game. You don’t have cancer. You’re healthy, you have great kids and a great wife, all that. You’re still miserable every second of every day until you [win].”
The 49ers will host Cal State Northridge on Thursday in the Walter Pyramid for their final home game of the season.