Pacific 87, Long Beach State 78

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) -- Anthony Esparza had career-high totals
of 21 points and 13 rebounds as Pacific won its fifth consecutive
Big West Conference game 87-78 over Long Beach State on Saturday.

Christian Maraker recorded his 13th double-double of the season
with 17 points and 12 rebounds as two-time defending Big West
champion Pacific (16-6, 6-2) swept the season series with Long
Beach State (10-10, 5-4) for the third year in a row.

Guards Johnny Gray scored 18 points and Mike Webb added 15 for
the Tigers, who never trailed in the second half.

Shawn Hawkins led Long Beach State with 22 points, Aaron Nixon
scored 11 and Kejuan Johnson had 10 points for the 49ers.

Hawkins' fast-break layup tied the game for the third time at
48-48 four minutes into the second half. Pacific then outscored the
49ers 27-11 over the next 10 minutes to take control.

Pacific had its biggest lead at 75-59 on Esparza's driving layup
and free throw with 5:58 remaining. Long Beach State never got
closer than nine points the rest of the way.

After four lead changes in the first five minutes, Pacific went
on a 20-7 run to take a 31-18 advantage with seven minutes to play
in the first half. But Long Beach State responded with a 10-0 run,
followed by six points by Esparza that bumped Pacific's lead back
to eight with two minutes left.

Hawkins made two long 3-pointers in the final minute to bring
the 49ers within 39-38 at the break.

Long Beach State remained close early in the second half before
the Tigers began pulling away behind Maraker and Gray, who combined
for 27 points after the break.