The No, 1 seed Long Beach St. 49ers advanced to their third straight Big West Tournament final on Friday night, using a second-half comeback to defeat the No. 7 seed UC Irvine Anteaters 68-57 in the tournament semifinals at Honda Center in Anaheim.
Casper Ware scored 22 points to lead Long Beach State, who shot 40.7% from the field on the night. The 49ers also got double-doubles from James Ennis (13 points, 10 rebounds) and T.J. Robinson (11 points, 10 rebounds) in the win.
The 49ers (24-8) trailed 28-27 at halftime and 43-39 with 13:54 remaining, but captured the lead with a 14-0 run and never looked back.
Michael Wilder and Daman Starring each scored 15 points to lead UC Irvine (12-20), who shot 44.7% from the field on the night and made 10 of 24 three-pointers. Long Beach State outrebounded Irvine 39-22.
The 49ers will play the winner of UCSB vs. Cal Poly on Saturday night at 7 p.m. PST on ESPN2.