San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwayne Polee II scored 16 points as No. 18 San Diego State narrowly avoided an upset with a 60-59 win over Long Beach State.
The Aztecs' (7-2) 10 missed free throws could have cost them in a tight game, but Polee made 7-of-8 from the line, including two in the final minute, to help secure the win.
Winston Shepard added 10 points for San Diego State on 4-of-6 shooting.
Mike Caffey led all scorers with 20 for the 49ers (5-6), but he missed a critical shot late that could have tied the game. He also had a game-high four assists.
Tyler Lamb chipped in 13 points for Long Beach State, 10 of which came in the first half.
A 10-0 Long Beach run, with the last four points being scored by Caffey, in the second half gave the 49ers a 37-33 lead with 13:21 left. Then, the Aztecs offense went cold.
Polee II's layup at the 12:54 mark ended the LBSU run, but the Aztecs would not hit another shot from the floor for four minutes when Kevin Zabo drained a 3 to cut into Long Beach's eight point lead.
A David Samuels jumper with less than five minutes to go ended a quick 4-0 SDSU spurt, but the 49ers then went into a drought themselves. The Aztecs scored nine straight, including four from J.J. O'Brien, to take a four-point lead with 1:08 remaining.
Caffey hit another shot with 28 seconds to go and the 49ers forced a San Diego State turnover on the ensuing possession, but Caffey missed a shot that would have tied the game.
After Polee sunk a pair of free throws to extend the Aztecs' lead to 60-56, Caffey would redeem himself with a triple with five seconds on the clock, but it was too little, too late. Despite O'Brien missing two free throws, Long Beach State could not get a shot off at the buzzer.
The Aztecs led by as much as 12 before the break, but a 10-2 LBSU run to close the half left SDSU with just a 25-21 lead after the first 20 minutes despite the 49ers shooting 30.8 percent from the field.
San Diego State leads the all-time series between these teams, 37-22 ... The Aztecs have now won 45 straight games against opponents from California ... Long Beach State has lost 10 in a row against ranked opponents ... San Diego State takes the court again Wednesday at Cincinnati, while Long Beach State's next game is at Texas on Dec. 20.