Wiley Scores 32 in Long Beach Victory

Times Staff Writer

Morlon Wiley, who wanted to be like Freddie Banks, had practiced the three-point shot all this week. It paid off Thursday night.

The Cal State Long Beach guard, who scored a game-high 32 points, made eight three-pointers and the 49ers needed all of them to subdue UC Santa Barbara, 81-77, before a crowd of 1,420 in the university gym.

The victory kept Long Beach in second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. The 49ers are 7-4 in the league and 12-11 overall.

“I watched Freddie Banks on TV Sunday and he inspired me to step back a little farther,” said Wiley of Nevada Las Vegas’s noted three-point shooter.


The game turned into a three-point shooting duel between Wiley and Santa Barbara’s Brian Johnson, who made five of the long shots in the second half, including one that put the Gauchos ahead, 76-72 with 4:24 to play.

But Santa Barbara, 10-9 and 5-5, was outscored, 9-1, the rest of the way.

Wiley’s last three-pointer came with 3:31 to play and gave the 49ers a 77-76 lead.

After Johnson missed on an attempt to tie it, John Hoffman hit a jump shot with 1:04 and Wiley added two free throws with 15 seconds left.


Santa Barbara, which overcame a 15-point deficit, took the lead at 57-56 when Johnson made his only three-point field goal.

There were 15 lead changes down the stretch.

After Wiley’s biggest three-pointer, the Long Beach defense twice forced the Gauchos to use most of the 45-second shot before taking shots they missed.

Santa Barbara forward Brian Vaughns finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.


Andre Purry, a former teammate of Wiley’s at Long Beach Poly High, came off the bench to hit two late shots and grab the night’s biggest rebound after Johnson’s final miss.