LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Evan Leonard hit 3 of 4 from 3-point range and scored 18 points and Tommy Rutherford made a baby hook with 2.4 seconds left to help UC Irvine beat Long Beach State 82-80 on Saturday night.
Eyassu Worku added 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Rutherford finished with 13 and two blocks for UCI (19-5, 7-1 Big West). The Anteaters have won five in a row and eight of their last nine.
Deishaun Booker scored all of LBSU's points in a 7-2 run that gave the 49ers a 74-71 lead with 3:43 left. The teams traded baskets before Leonard hit a 3 and then a dunk by Rutherford gave UCI a two-point lead with a minute to go. Edon Maxhuni answered with a 3-pointer and, after Worku hit a jumper, Mason Riggins made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 80-all with 15 seconds remaining. Rutherford scored from the left block and Byers missed a potential winning heave from half court as time expired.
Booker finished with 29 points and Byers added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Long Beach State (8-15, 2-5).