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Long Beach Once Again Runs Out of Time, 76-73

February 16, 1996|JASON REID | TIMES STAFF WRITER

RENO — A few more seconds and a couple of breaks, and the story might have been different.

Instead, Long Beach rallied from a 17-point deficit for the second consecutive game only to fall short once again. Nevada provided the latest 49er heartache Thursday night with a 76-73 Big West Conference victory before 5,439 at the Lawlor Events Center.

"We didn't play with any intensity for the first 15 minutes," said Long Beach Coach Seth Greenberg, whose team also rallied from 17 down before losing to UC Irvine, 84-81, Monday night.

"I thought we defended great in the second half, but we only played 20 minutes. We win if we play a full 40."

Long Beach, which dropped to 14-9 overall and 9-5 in the Big West, trails conference-leading Irvine by a full game and two in the loss column.

Guard Brian Green scored a game-high 29 points for Nevada (14-9, 7-6), which ended a three-game losing streak. Forward Damien Edwards had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and center Daniel Watts scored 16.

The 49ers fought back from a 37-20 first-half deficit, and they also trailed, 65-52, with 4:45 remaining in the game. But led by guard James Cotton, who played for the first time in two games because of stomach problems, Long Beach came back yet again.

A three-point shot by Cotton, who scored a team-high 23 points, cut the Wolf Pack's lead to 75-73 with six seconds left.

Wolf Pack swingman Hakim Ali Bell was fouled by guard Jamie Davis, who tied his career high with 20 points, with one second to play. Bell made one of two free throws, and Long Beach was done.

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