March 5, 2005
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Kevin Houston's layup with 2.5 seconds remaining gave Long Beach State a 58-57 victory over UC Santa Barbara Saturday.
The 49ers (7-11 Big West Conference) overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to win their seventh game in eight.
With 7.6 seconds left, Josh Davis made one of two free throws to give the Gauchos a 57-56 lead.
After taking the inbounds pass Anthony Coleman threw a half-court pass to Jibril Hodges who dished off to Houston at the top of the key. Houston drove the lane and laid it in over two Santa Barbara defenders for the winning basket.
UC Santa Barbara (10-17, 7-11) has lost nine of 12 and is 2-13 on the road this season.
Hodges scored 17 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead Long Beach State. Shawn Hawkins had eight points and Houston added six assists for the 49ers.
Derek Rasp scored 12 points for the Gauchos.
Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara finish conference play with identical 7-11 records and both advance to the conference tournament that starts next Wednesday.
The 49ers qualified for postseason play for the first time since 2002. They have beaten the Gauchos in 10 of 11 games at Long Beach dating back to 1995.