Cal State Long Beach survived an off-game by Morlon Wiley and defeated Fresno State, 66-63, in a Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. game before 1,795 fans at the 49er gym Saturday night.
Wiley, who had been averaging 22 points a game, scored 16, making only 6 f 16 shots.
But guard Rigo Moore compensated by coming off the bench to score 13 points. He scored eight in a row late in the game when Fresno was starting to assert itself.
The toughness and aggressiveness of the Bulldogs were almost too much for Long Beach to handle.
But the 49ers made just enough of its free throws in the last minute. Three times they made the front end of one-and-one opportunities, but each time they missed the second shot to keep the game in doubt. DeAnthony Langston made two and missed two and Wiley made one and missed one.
"We never seemed to get control, even in the end when we had a couple of lucky breaks," said Long Beach Coach Joe Harrington.
A tip-in by Jervis Cole kept the Bulldogs close, and they trailed by only 64-63 with nine seconds left.
Fresno had to foul but couldn't as the 49ers went the length of the court.
Billy Walker took Moore's inbounds pass, dribbled along the left sideline and threw cross-court to Wiley, who hit Andre Purry, who dunked at the buzzer.
That wrapped up a victory that improved Long Beach's record to 9-6 overall and 3-3 in the PCAA. Fresno is 4-10 and 1-4.
Walker had seven assists to break the school career record of 437 that was set by Craig Hodges. Walker has 439.
Mike Mitchell and Derrick Barden, scoring mostly inside, led Fresno with 18 points each.
With Wiley making only two shots (both three-pointers) in the first half, the 49ers struggled against Fresno's zone defense. They scored only six points in the first 8:20, but Fresno managed only 10.
Mitchell's 14th point of the half gave the Bulldogs a 28-20 lead, but the 49ers came back to tie on two baskets by John Hatten and one each bu Walker and Purry before Kevin Stevenson's bank shot gave Fresno a 30-28 halftime lead.
"Fresno played an excellent game," said Harrington. "Mentally, I don't think we were sharp."