The Rainbow Warriors, 15-12 after only their second victory in 10 games on opponents’ home floors, are in seventh place in a conference with nine members. And the 49ers (18-7 overall) are 9-2 in the Big West and just one win away from clinching at least a share of the conference title. Hawaii committed 23 turnovers but had little difficulty getting quality shots once it got securely into its half-court offense. The Warriors shot 28 of 50 from the field, as well as 31 of 33 from the free-throw line. And, with Riley Luettgerodt (23 points and eight assists), Matt Lojeski (22 points, seven rebounds and five assists), Ahmet Gueye (16 points and six rebounds), Matt Gibson (22 points, seven rebounds and five assists) and Bobby Nash (15 points and five rebounds) never leaving the floor in the second half, the Rainbow Warriors also contained Long Beach’s dribble penetration and contest most of the 49ers’ jump shots. The 49ers, who next play again Saturday evening at home against UC Davis, used 12 Hawaii turnovers to break out to a 24-12 advantage 8 minutes into the game. Coach Riley Wallace’s team, scheduled to board a flight for Honolulu this morning before turning around and flying back to the mainland Thursday for a game at San Jose State Saturday, snapped Long Beach’s five-game winning streak by outscoring the 49ers 40-16 in the final 11 1/2 minutes. And, in front of 2,385, a season-high home attendance for the 49ers, the visitors used the Bracket Buster matchup to drive home a point to illustrate the overall on-court superiority of Hawaii’s Western Athletic Conference over Long Beach’s Big West Conference. But the 49ers’ own turnovers, and hasty shot selection, enabled Hawaii to build a five-point lead in the first half before Long Beach closed with a 7-2 run to create a 37 deadlock at intermission. A 27-footer by Aaron Nixon gave the 49ers a 62-53 advantage with 11:53 to go. But Hawaii had built an eight-point advantage 78-70 before Long Beach’s next field goal, a fastbreak layup by Sterling Byrd with 3:23 remaining. “We knew this was going to be a tough game,” Long Beach Coach Larry Reynolds said. “They are a very good defensive team, and they do a lot of things offensively that you have to be sharp for.” Long Beach hit just 14 of 38 shots from the field in the second half, including 3 of 14 behind the arc, as Nixon (17 points), Kejuan Johnson (15) and Kevin Houston (11) combined to hit only 16 of 45 for the game. 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! PhotosLBSU vs HawaiiLONG BEACH – The University of Hawaii team that visited the Walter Pyramid Saturday night figured to be the toughest opponent the Long Beach State men’s basketball team had played host to this season. And that assumption proved right, as the Rainbow Warriors came from nine points down with 11 1/2 minutes left to hand the 49ers their first loss, 93-78, in 11 games in the building.
0Shares0000Messi celebrates grabbing the equaliser along with Andres IniestaLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 20 – Lionel Messi struck for the first time in nine games against Chelsea to give Barcelona the upper hand from the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday by salvaging a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.Willian’s fine strike just after the hour mark had put Chelsea in command after earlier hitting both posts in the first half. However, one moment of carelessness cost Chelsea dear as Andres Iniesta intercepted Andreas Christensen’s pass to tee up Messi to swing the balance of the tie in Barca’s favour 15 minutes from time.The English champions must now score when they travel to the Camp Nou on March 14 to have any chance of making the last eight.Barcelona star Lionel Messi celebrates with his long-time team-mate Andres Iniesta after they combined to score the goal. PHOTO/ DAILY MAILChelsea manager Antonio Conte sprang a surprise before kick-off by leaving out both Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata with Eden Hazard instead operating in the middle of a front three featuring Willian and former Barca winger Pedro Rodriguez.And it was Hazard who sent the first warning that Barca were in for an uncomfortable evening when he fired just over from 20 yards five minutes in.Antonio Rudiger also headed just wide in a positive opening from the hosts, but it was Barca who had the first clear chance on 16 minutes.Chelsea constantly tried to surround Messi with three or four blue shirts to limit the Argentine’s threat, but he dug out a cross to the far post where an unmarked Paulinho headed wide.Barca then went on to dominate possession for a large spell of the first half with their control of the ball reaching 80 percent at one stage.However, the visitors lacked penetration before the break and were lucky to go in level at half-time.Chelsea’s No 22 is joined by his Chelsea team-mates bu the corner flag after scoring the opening goal of the two-legged tie. Photo/DAILY MAILWillian showed his ability to score from outside the box off either foot with a double against Hull City to take Chelsea into the FA Cup quarter-finals on Friday.He was inches away from another long-range stunner when he curled onto the post from 25 yards with Marc-Andre ter Stegen beaten in the Barca goal.Barca had kept six clean sheets in their previous seven Champions League games, but once again had good luck rather than good defending to thank four minutes before the break when Willian hooked another effort from outside the box off the woodwork.Ter Stegen dives to his right in an attempt to save a shot from Willian, but is spared when it bounces off his goalpost. Photo/DAILY MAILHazard then volleyed just over as Chelsea ended the half on a high.Barca appeared to have restored order early second period, but failed to learn their lesson of Willian’s danger from the edge of the box.A short corner was worked into the Brazilian’s path and he arrowed a low shot past the rooted Ter Stegen.However, Barca remain unbeaten in 31 La Liga and Champions League games under Ernesto Valverde thanks to a late rally.Chelsea manager Antonio Conte (right) gesticulates wildly on the touchline after seeing Willian hit the post for a second time. Photo/DAILY MAILLuis Suarez had claims for a penalty waved away when he went down under pressure from Rudiger.But Barca’s protests had barely been silenced before they were level.Christensen’s dangerous ball across his own box was a gift for an old scourge of Chelsea in Iniesta.At the end where he broke Chelsea hearts with a stoppage-time equaliser in a highly controversial semi-final in 2009, Iniesta this time squared for Messi to apply the finishing touch low past Thibaut Courtois for his 28th goal of the season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)