Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sports: Big West Tournament, Day 3

The Tigers beat the Mustangs 68-57. The game was closer than the score indicated. Cal Poly was down only 4 when they missed a three-pointer and the Tigers delivered the knockout with a three-pointer. Down by 7, the Mustangs needed points and went for quick shots and missed and had to foul.

Maraker, the Big West Player of the Year and star of the the UOP Tigers finished with 12 points but also got 5 assists. Cal Poly frequently doubled teamed when he got the ball but he often found the open man.

In game two of the evening, fans of Long Beach were treated to a second nail biter in a row. UC Irvine held the lead but the pressing defense of Long Beach would take its toll and Anteater fans hoped their team could hold on. Eventually, the Eaters lost the lead and looked done and fell behind by 6 late. However, tight defense brought the Anteaters back.

In the Anteater's final possession, a busted play resulted in their regaining the lead 73-72. Long Beach called time out with 10.8 seconds. Two inbound passes resulted in Irvine fouls, but since it was only the fifth and sixth fouls of the half, Long Beach took the ball out from the side with less time left on the clock. Everyone in the arena knew the ball would be in Nixon's hands as he had scored 31 the night before against Fullerton and had already hit five three-pointers and had already scored 25 this evening.

The ball came to him as expected and he dribbled to the left corner guarded by two Anteaters and launched a three at the buzzer. NOTHING BUT THE BOTTOM OF THE NET!!!

UPDATE: Long Beach's Nixon game winner made it to #1 in ESPN's Top Ten championship week moments. HT: Youtube.com

The ref called it in time but to be sure they huddled in front of the replay monitor and after a minute of review, it was official, Long Beach 75 UCI 73.

Long Beach State faces off with University of Pacific on Saturday at 9pm PST with the NCAA bid on the line. ESPN and its various flavors are showing tournament games around the clock (more than 12 hours!) and the Big West Championship game will be their final game of the night.

UPDATE: Sights and Sounds from Day Three



The Marquee has the event for the evening.



The venue's main entrance.



Flags of the USA, California and Anaheim.



Name that tune: what is the Pacific band playing?



Digital stitch of the inside of the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. Click on photo for a larger view. As you can see there were quite a few orange-clad supporter of the Pacific Tigers in the game against Cal Poly.

In terms of fan participation, the Fullerton-Long Beach game was the loudest as Fullerton is close by so many students were there and vocal. Long Beach alumni were loud as well. The Cal Poly-UCSB game was the quietest as those two schools are farther away and expectations for their success was not very high. The UCI-Long Beach game showed the different fan bases the two schools have. UCI's student section was very loud and its alumni section was small and quiet. The Long Beach alumni section was larger and louder than their student section! The UCI student section was louder and larger than the Long Beach students.



Cal Poly running their offense against UOP.



UOP celebrates their victory.



The Anteaters in pre-game warm ups.



The yellow clad CIA = completely insane Anteaters.

Name that tune: the UCI band plays this familiar tune as one of two fight songs. What other school, perhaps a bit more well known to television viewing sports fans, uses the same tune?

related posts
Day 4
Day 3
Day 2
Day 1
Preview, part II
Preview, part I

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