At 6 feet 8, 240 pounds, muscular forward Frankie Edwards of Cal State Long Beach is an imposing figure along the baseline who has yet to reach his potential.
But after a career-high 21 points Thursday night in the 49ers' 68-65 Big West Conference victory over San Jose State, Edwards, a senior, may finally be on his way.
"I'm pleased we're getting contributions from so many guys," 49er Coach Seth Greenberg said. "Frankie really stepped up for us today."
Usually overshadowed by four teammates who have double-figure averages, Edwards made nine of 12 shots and three key free throws in the final 1:36 to preserve a victory that did not seem in doubt until the final 2 1/2 minutes.
CS Long Beach (7-3, 1-0) led by as many as 15 points at the outset of the second half and appeared on its way to its fifth consecutive victory. But in the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Spartans (1-8, 0-1) outscored the 49ers, 20-10.
"Sometimes we get relaxed," Edwards said. "I think we think we're going to win it. We think the other team is going to fold, but they don't."
A turnaround jump shot by San Jose State's Daryl Scott cut the 49er lead to 50-45 with 9:30 remaining.
Edwards scored 22 seconds later with a dunk, which spurred a 9-2 Long Beach run. San Jose, however, did not quit, and trailed, 62-60, when Edwards missed two free throws with 56 seconds left.
But Edwards made two free throws 34 seconds later to give the 49ers a 68-62 lead.