COLLEGE BASKETBALL MEN'S JC STATE CHAMPIONSHIP : Rancho Santiago Holds Off Long Beach, 73-70

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Rancho Santiago withstood a late Long Beach City College rally to win its second consecutive men's state title Saturday, 73-70, before 3,533 at the Bren Events Center at UC Irvine.

Rancho Santiago had a 13-point lead with 16:25 to play, but Long Beach's defense finally started to slow Rancho Santiago.

Long Beach kept getting closer and Terry Nelson had a rebound dunk to cut the lead to 73-70 with seven seconds left. Rancho Santiago let the clock run down to five seconds before calling time out.

When the Dons inbounded the ball, Long Beach's Rob Goodman tied up Brett Pagett and the Vikings got possession with two seconds left.

Long Beach was able to get the ball to Sheldon Grigsby behind the three-point line, but his shot hit the back of the rim and bounced away as time ran out.

The victory makes Rancho Santiago (35-2) the first team to win consecutive titles since Riverside in 1966.

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