first_img Shawn Hawkins, after dribbling several times while Jibril Hodges was unsuccessful in freeing himself off of a screen, launched a 3-pointer from the right corner and over the right hand of defender Justin Burns that banked in to put the 49ers ahead 97-95 with 1.9 seconds to play in overtime. The Titans called a timeout and then another after getting a look at Long Beach’s defensive alignment. But his approximately 40-foot heave bounced off the glass, a foot to the right of the rim, as the buzzer was sounding and Reynolds and his players breathed a collective sigh of relief and began celebrating before boarding a bus back to campus with a 3-2 conference record and 8-8 overall mark. The 49ers, who play at UC Riverside Saturday evening, sliced up Fullerton’s man-to-man defense to break out out to a 27-11 lead before the Titans, behind Jamaal Brown’s inside play and the perimeter scoring of Bobby Brown (19 points) and Jermaine Harper (22), cut their deficit to 43-39 at intermission. Long Beach needed the heroics of Kejuan Johnson (11 points) and Hodges (24 points) to send the game into overtime. After Jamaal Brown’s free throw with 12 seconds to go put the Titans up, 83-80, Louis Darby missed a 3-pointer from the right wing with about seven seconds remaining. But Johnson snatched the rebound along the left baseline, heard Hodges scream his name, and fired to Hodges in the right corner. Hodges then knocked in the 3-pointer his fifth of the night, which tied him for the school career lead with Johnson’s uncle, Lucious Harris with 2.3 seconds on the clock. Neither Hawkins nor Reynolds thought Hawkins’ shot had a chance when it left his hands as the clock wound down in OT. “But,” Reynolds said, smiling outside his team’s noisy locker room, “sometimes you need to be a little lucky.” And then some. Frank Burlison can be reached at [email protected] or (562) 499-1320. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card When the Titans came back out on the floor and prepared to inbound the ball, 49ers coach Larry Reynolds signaled for, and was granted, a timeout. There was just one problem: The 49ers had used their final timeout (the one they were granted at the start of overtime) just after Burns had put the Titans (3-3 in the Big West and 9-6 overall) ahead, 95-94, with 20.4 seconds to go on Burns’ follow of a Bobby Brown miss. When the officials confirmed with the official scorer that Long Beach had exhausted its timeouts, the 49ers were hit with a technical foul and Brown went to the free-throw line with the opportunity to tie the score. With the 49ers and their following (which made up a decent chunk of the announced crowd of 1,125) still in disbelief, Brown missed the first attempt but made the second. Finally given the opportunity to inbound, the Titans’ Vershan Cottrell fired the ball just beyond mid-court to center Jamaal Brown, who had crushed the 49ers to that point with 31 points and 10 rebounds. center_img It couldn’t have been cut any closer with microsurgery. But, thanks to a couple of gut-wrenching 3-point shots and despite an even more gut-wrenching timeout call, the Long Beach State men’s basketball team pulled out a 97-96 Big West Conference victory in overtime over the host Cal State Fullerton Titans on Thursday night. last_img