HONOLULU — Freshman Michael Caffey scored a career-high 14 points and Long Beach State defeated short-handed No. 14 Xavier 68-58 in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic on Thursday night.
Caffey was one of five players in double figures for the 49ers (6-5), who handed the Musketeers (8-2) their second straight loss since a bench-clearing brawl Dec. 10 against Cincinnati that resulted in the suspension of four players. Caffey was joined by Casper Ware, Larry Anderson and Eugene Phelps, who each had 12 points.
The 49ers advance to Friday's semifinal and will face the winner of the Hawaii-Auburn matchup scheduled for later Thursday night.
Long Beach State used aggressive defense and kept heavy pressure on Xavier's star point guard Tu Holloway, who returned from a one-game suspension.