ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Casper Ware scored 22 points and top-seeded Long Beach State pulled away in the second half Friday, beating UC Irvine 68-57 to reach the Big West Conference tournament championship game.
On Saturday, the 49ers (24-8) will play No. 3 seed UC Santa Barbara, which beat fourth-seeded Cal Poly 64-52 later Friday.
James Ennis added 13 points and T.J. Robinson had 11 for Long Beach State. Ennis and Robinson pulled down 10 rebounds apiece.
Daman Starring and Michael Wilder had 15 points each for the seventh-seeded Anteaters (12-20), who knocked off No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton in the quarterfinals Thursday.
After a tight first half, the 49ers trailed 28-27 at halftime and 43-39 after an Adam Folker layup with 13:54 to play. LBSU responded with a 14-0 run, including a 3-pointer by Ennis and two by Mike Caffey, to lead 53-43 with 8:57 left and take control of the game.