SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Evan Payne scored 22 points to lead Long Beach State to a 66-48 win at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon.
The Gauchos (4-21 overall, 2-11 in the Big West) committed 18 turnovers in the game, including 10 in the second half. Long Beach (13-16, 8-5) won for the fourth time in its last five games.
UCSB led 12-7 early but the 49ers ended the first half on a 26-12 run to take a 33-24 halftime lead.
"In the first half Long Beach used a little pester-press to speed us up," said head coach Bob Williams. "I thought we handled it early but it got to us later."
When Eric Childress made a lay-up and then a free throw after being fouled with 11:00 to play, the Gauchos trailed just 49-41, but the 49ers used an 8-1 run to claim a 57-42 advantage and the lead never dropped below 13 the rest of the way. A 3-point basket by Alex Rifkind pushed it to 20 points with 41 seconds left, the largest of the game.
UCSB shot 44.7% overall, equaling its second-best mark of the season, but in the end the turnovers, along with poor free throw and 3-point shooting proved fatal.
"When you shoot the ball like we do from the 3-point line, you just can't afford to turn the ball over or shoot free throws the way we did today," Williams said. "It makes it almost impossible to win."
The Gauchos finished at 3-for-16 from outside the 3-point arc, 18.8%, and a 3-for-11 from the free throw line, 27.3%.
Childress finished with a team-high 13 points to go along with five assists and three steals. Alex Hart and Clifton Powell each added seven points. Christian Terrell had four points but also tied his career-high with nine rebounds.
Payne was joined in double-figures by Justin Bibbins (14) and Roschon Prince (11). Prince added a team-high eight rebounds and Bibbins had seven assists.
UCSB will play its final home game on Thursday, Feb. 23 when it hosts UC Riverside in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The game will mark the final home appearances for Childress, the team's lone senior.