UC Santa Barbara's Mike Doyle and Brian Shaw did little damage to Cal State Long Beach the first time the teams met this season. Thursday night, they wrecked the 49ers.
Doyle scored 31 points, and Shaw had 26 as Santa Barbara won the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. game, 81-73, before 5,411 at the Long Beach Arena.
When the Gauchos lost to the 49ers, 77-76, on Jan. 30, Doyle and Shaw totaled only 16 points.
Doyle, a 6-foot 7-inch sophomore and the Gauchos' sixth man, hit a bank shot to stop a second-half rally that had pulled Long Beach to 59-58.
After that, the 49ers never got closer than two points as the Gauchos became a 20-game winner for the first time in 17 seasons. They are 20-5 and 12-4 in the PCAA. Long Beach is 15-9 and 9-6.
Doyle achieved his career high in points by making 9 of 12 shots from the field and 13 of 14 from the foul line.
Shaw, one of the best guards in the West, was 12 of 16 from the field.
Morlon Wiley led Long Beach with 21 points, and Andre Purry scored 18.
"Give Santa Barbara credit for coming in here and playing very aggressively," Long Beach Coach Joe Harrington said. "They're much improved over the first time we played them."
Santa Barbara was ahead, 57-48, with 14:21 left, but then went nearly six minutes without scoring as the 49ers got their press to work.
"We got the spurt," Harrington said, "but we just couldn't get there. We didn't do well early. They gained confidence (in the first half) and that made a difference."
Long Beach had the lead through most of the first half and was ahead, 33-26, with 5:40 left.
Then Shaw and Doyle outscored the 49ers, 13-3, and propelled Santa Barbara to a 39-36 halftime lead.
Shaw started the surge by breaking loose from Wiley for a layup and ended it with a tip-in. In between, he scored on a left-handed shot in the lane.
Doyle, though, made the half's biggest play with 2:39 left. He grabbed a loose ball, put a fake on John Hatten and drove by him for a basket while being fouled. He completed the three-point play, and the Gauchos had a 37-36 lead, their first of the night. They never trailed again.
Within the first three minutes of the second half, Santa Barbara extended the lead to 50-38. Carrick DeHart scored two layups and made a three-pointer, and Doyle made four free throws.
The 49ers came back, but not all the way. Three times they missed opportunities to tie the game, then Doyle and Shaw, with a little help from DeHart, made sure there would be no more chances.