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.
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.