Gilbert Wilburn scored 17 points to lead New Mexico State to an 80-57 Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. victory over Cal State Long Beach Saturday night at Las Cruces, N.M.
The win was the fifth straight for the Aggies and kept them in a tie for the PCAA lead with Nevada Las Vegas. New Mexico State is 3-0 in the conference and 9-3 overall under first-year Coach Neil McCarthy.
Long Beach, losing its fourth straight, dropped to 0-3 and 4-10.
Wilburn drew double and triple coverage from the 49ers most of the night and got most of his points at the free throw line, where he converted on 11 of 16 attempts.
Junior guard Kenny Travis added 15 points, with 10 of them coming in the first half when the Aggies broke the game open en route to a 39-19 lead.
Guard Morlon Wiley, with 12 points, and forward Andre Purry, with 11, led the 49ers, who could hit only 36% of their shots. New Mexico State's defense is ranked 11th nationally.
UC Santa Barbara 66, Utah State 52--Khris Fortson scored a game-high 21 points, and the Gauchos made 9 of their 12 second-half shots at Logan, Utah.
The Gauchos shot 60% from the field and outrebounded Utah State, 42-24, in improving their record to 2-3 in the conference and 7-7 overall. Utah State fell to 1-3 and 5-8.
Utah State shot 29% in the first half, helping UC Santa Barbara build a 37-23 halftime lead. The Aggies outscored the Santa Barbara, 16-4, to start the second half and cut the Gauchos' lead to 41-39 with 12:16 left.
A layup by Utah State's Greg Grant with 7:35 left tied the score at 46-46.
Scott Fisher then led a 26-6 UC Santa Barbara finish, scoring eight of his 16 points in the closing minutes.
Grant was held to 19 points, the first time in seven games and second time this season he has been held to less than 20.