Rainbow Warriors fall to 49ers
Long Beach pulls away to end UH’s season in Big West quarterfinals
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Justin Bibbins scored a career-high 27 points and Long Beach State used a big closing run to defeat the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team 73-62 in the Big West tournament quarterfinals on Thursday night.
Barry Ogalue added 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting and Noah Blackwell had 11 for the fourth-seeded 49ers (15-18), who face top-seeded UC Irvine in today’s semifinals.
Noah Allen had 21 points and Gibson Johnson 18 for the fifth-seeded Rainbow Warriors (14-16), who beat LBSU in the last two tournaments, including in the championship game last season. Long Beach won 83-75 to close the regular season last weekend.
Hawaii had a 35-33 lead at the half, when Allen had 14 points and Bibbins 19. The game was tied at 54 on a Johnson basket with 9:08 to play. Bibbins then hit a jumper to start a 10-0 run that the 49ers turned into a game-winning 19-1 run before Hawaii scored the last six points of the game.
UH went 7:18 without a basket, missing eight straight shots.
The Rainbow Warriors were playing in the tournament less than a week after the NCAA lifted the team’s postseason ban that the governing body had handed down for violations under former coach Gib Arnold.