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Game Stopped Early as Fresno Beats Long Beach

February 12, 1988|DICK WAGNER | Times Staff Writer

FRESNO — The game was called with five seconds to play here Thursday night, mercifully ending the frustration for Cal State Long Beach.

The officials prematurely ended the game--an 88-75 Fresno State victory--as they were berated by 49er Coach Joe Harrington, who had just been ejected with his second technical foul.

Harrington had to be restrained from going after the officials by three of his players. Then he had to be restrained again.

Referee Dave Libbey said he ejected Harrington for a "flagrant act." Libbey, who said Harrington refused to leave, said, "I forfeited the game and we walked out and left."

The Long Beach coach was upset because Fresno had shot 41 free throws and the 49ers only 10.

Ten minutes after the game, when he had regained his composure, Harrington said: "I can't talk about it; they've got a gag rule in the (Pacific Coast Athletic Assn.). There was just a big discrepancy in the number of fouls called."

Then Harrington got to a couple of other crucial reasons why the fourth-place 49ers lost to the eighth-place Bulldogs: "We couldn't contain them on defense or on the boards."

Fresno (7-13 overall, 4-7 in the PCAA) had a 45-27 rebounding advantage. Nineteen offensive rebounds enabled the Bulldogs to get not only a lot of second shots, but third, fourth, even fifth shots.

The frustration started to build for the 49ers when center John Hatten was called for his fourth foul with 13 minutes left. DeAnthony Langston, the team's other center, was called for his fourth foul with 10:29 left. Morlon Wiley's fourth followed at 9:48.

Then with 9:34 to play, Harrington was called for his first technical.

Mike Mitchell made both free throws to give a Fresno a 59-58 lead. Long Beach was never in front again.

The Bulldogs, on three-point shots by Leo Walker and Andre Sims and a tip-in by Mitchell, pulled away to a 72-64 lead and coasted from there.

Forward Jervis Cole, hitting 12 of 19 shots, led Fresno with a career-high 30 points, including 18 in the second half. Mitchell had 13 rebounds, and Walker had 8 assists.

The 49ers (13-8, 7-5) had five players in double figures, led by Wiley, who had 15, although only three in the second half.

"Fresno State did a good job handling our pressure; they deserved to win," said Harrington, who received a reprimand from the league office earlier in the season for criticizing officials.

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