ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Stephan Hicks scored 27 points Friday night, including 21 in the second half, and Cal State Northridge held off a strong Long Beach State second-half rally to win 82-77 in a Big West Conference tournament semifinal.
The fifth-seeded Matadors will face Cal Poly in Saturday's final, after Cal Poly beat top-seeded UC Irvine 61-58 to advance.
The Matadors (17-17) used runs of 14-2 and 10-2 to build a 44-32 halftime advantage, with Josh Greene scoring 19 points in the half.
The 49ers opened the second with a 15-3 run and led 49-47 on a 3-pointer by Michael Caffey. The lead flip-flopped four times and Hicks scored 10 straight points to put the Matadors up 67-65 with 4:05 to play.
The 49ers closed to within three, 80-77, after Tyler Lamb's trey with 9 seconds to play, but got no closer.
Greene finished with 21.
Caffey led Long Beach (15-17) with 19.