ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The worst thing that could happen to Cal State Long Beach happened with 3:10 to play Saturday night: Morlon Wiley fouled out.
Without the 49er guard to worry about, Ohio State outscored Long Beach, 14-7, to win, 93-86, in the first round of the Lobo Invitational at the University of New Mexico.
Wiley scored 30 points on 11 of 14 shooting, and gave the 49ers a good chance at an upset.
"Morlon Wiley had a great basketball game tonight," Long Beach Coach Joe Harrington said.
"(Wiley's) a great player, very talented in addition to his shooting," Ohio State Coach Gary Williams said.
When Wiley was charged with his fifth personal foul while driving the lane, the score was tied, 79-79.
John Anderson, whom Wiley had fouled, made two free throws, which gave the Buckeyes their first lead since the first half, and one they kept.
Without Wiley, the 49ers had virtually no way to answer, and their record dropped to 5-3.
Of the last three minutes the 49ers played without him, Wiley said: "I'm not in there all the time at practice, and we execute. We just let (Ohio State) start dictating to us."
Of the Buckeyes' last 17 points, 15 came on foul shots. They outscored the 49ers, 34-13, from the free-throw line.
Wiley's absence was a relief to Williams because at that point the Buckeyes were playing better than they had all night.
"We thought we were going to win," said Williams, whose team is 6-2. "We thought we worked hard enough to earn that win."
The 49ers led, 79-74, when Wiley made two free throws with 4:43 left. They had a chance to increase their lead, but Andre Purry missed a three-pointer, an ill-advised shot in Harrington's view that gave the Buckeyes the opportunity to close the lead in a hurry.
Reserve center Grady Mateen grabbed a rebound and made a three-point play.
"When you're playing against a good Big Ten team, they're not going to allow you to have your way," Harrington said.
Employing their fast break and shooting well against a Buckeye zone defense, the 49ers were in charge most of the first half and had their biggest lead at 45-36.
Wiley scored 18 points in the first half, but also picked up three fouls.
Ohio State, however, trailed by only three points (51-48) at halftime, thanks mainly to the shooting of forward Jerry Francis, who had 17 points.
The 49ers, after shooting 53.6% from the field in the first half, shot shot only 36% the last 20 minutes.
"They might have gotten a little tired in the second half," Williams said, "but I like to think that maybe we got a little tougher."
The Buckeyes were the much tougher team inside on offense. Besides 22 points each from Francis and power forward Perry Carter, Mateen came off the bench to make 5 of 6 shots and grab 7 rebounds.
And although Purry scored 21 points, 49er centers John Hatten and DeAnthony Langston--who had been averaging a combined 18 points--scored only 9 between them.
In the tournament's third-place game tonight, the 49ers will play North Texas State, which lost to New Mexico, 77-69. Forward Hunter Greene led the Lobos with 28 points and 14 rebounds.