San Jose State's Reggie Owens made sure another Cal State Long Beach comeback fell short Monday night as he led the Spartans to a 73-67 victory at Long Beach Arena.
Long Beach, which has a habit of almost wiping out opponents' leads in the second half, came from 11 points behind to tie the game, 53-53, with 8:31 remaining on a three-point play by Darrell Patterson.
But San Jose State's Stony Evans quickly broke the tie with a layup, then Owens took over. The 6-6 freshman from Oceanside scored the Spartans' next 11 points as they moved to a 66-58 lead.
"He was the only workhorse we had, the only guy who took charge in the second half," San Jose Coach Bill Berry said of Owens, who scored 17 points.
Berry had only one player in the first half who took charge--guard Ward Farris, who scored 15 of his 17 points and guided the Spartans to a 39-30 halftime lead.
Aborted comebacks are becoming too familiar to Long Beach Coach Ron Palmer.
"When we make these runs there always seems to be three or four minutes left in the game," Palmer said after watching his team lose its sixth straight Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. game without a victory. The 49ers are 2-12 overall.
The victory was the Spartans' first at Long Beach after 15 losses. They are 4-3 in the PCAA this season and 9-7 overall.
Freshman center DeAnthony Langston led Long Beach with 13 points and 11 rebounds.