College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Coming out of the Big West conference to play at Pitt, Long Beach State took the lead early, expanded it to nine points at the half and became the first non-Big East team to beat the Panthers at the Petersen Events Center since Bucknell in 2005, delivering a shocking, 86-76, win over the 9th-ranked Panthers Wednesday night.
Casper Ware, a four-year senior who has improved his scoring each season, pumped in a career-high 28 points on 10-for-18 shooting, including four 3-pointers.
Ware, a 5'10 guard, added six assists and a pair of rebounds, as the 49ers outplayed Pitt in nearly every aspect, shooting 59% compared to Pitt's 47%. Long Beach players dished out 24 assists and outrebounded Pitt, 29-26.
Ware scored 9.1 points per game as a freshman in the 2008-09 season, improved to 11.9 the next year and tallied 17.2 per game last season. He is averaging 24 points this year.
Long Beach State improved to 2-0 and earned the respect of Pitt coach Jamie Dixon and his players, and probably much of the college basketball universe, as well.
Th 49ers went 22-12 last season, losing their conference tournament final to UC Santa Barbara. They were knocked out of the NCAA tourney in the opening round by Washington State, 85-74.