Long Beach State wins Big West
Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Aaron Nixon scored 29 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, as Long Beach State beat Cal Poly, 94-83, to win the Big West Conference championship.
Kejuan Johnson added 24 points for the top-seeded 49ers (24-7), who secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995.
Chaz Thomas had 31 points for the Mustangs (19-11), who have never made it to the NCAA Tournament.
The 49ers used a big run in the second half to take the lead and pull away.
Long Beach State, which rallied from a 10-point deficit in the first half, was never seriously threatened down the stretch.
Trae Clark's layup put the Mustangs ahead 51-49 with 13:10 remaining, but the 49ers responded with the 15-2 burst. Nixon's three-pointer gave LBSU a 54-51 lead and his two free throws capped the burst with 7:35 left.
Long Beach State's lead swelled to 14 points and never dipped under seven the rest of the way.
Kevin Houston added 17 points and Mark Dawson added 12 points and 10 boards for the 49ers.
Dawin Whiten had 15 points and Clark ended with 10 points and seven assists for the Mustangs.
Clark's three-pointer with 3:01 left in the opening half boosted Cal Poly to a 33-23 lead and the Mustangs were in front 35-30 at the break.
Long Beach State went 28-of-33 at the foul line...The 49ers shot 17-of-30 from the field in the second half.CALPOLY LBEACHST