UCLA started the first half slow. With 15:21 left UCLA led by four 13-9 and was trying with mixed results to pound it in to Tony. At this point all of Long Beach State's points came on three pointers by Bryce's man. UCLA did not score again for almost five minutes and LBS took a 6 point lead on a ten point run. The scoring draught was broken by Noah Allen. Noah hit three then drew contact on a drive and made a free throw after that it was all UCLA scored the next 15 points and changed the game.
Surprisingly the guards led the way. Bryce seemingly forced some bad shots but had six assists to one turnover in the first half while dishing to Hamilton and Powell. Norman led UCLA in everything else with 13 points and 4 boards. Hamilton also hit two nice threes off Bryce's drives and kick outs. At the end of half the biggest negative was the SPTR who seemed whistle happy with Looney, Hamilton, and Parker with two fouls and Welsh with 3 in only four minutes. UCLA led 42-31 with only three turnovers.
LBS had 10 turnovers and former Bruin Tyler Lamb was a non factor with some of LBS many bad turnovers.
Second half, Senior Michael Caffey of Long Beach State destroyed our man defense so we had to go zone. UCLA countered with its own senior Norman Powell and a number of nice dunks. Long Beach State zone slowed us down as did the SPTRs who called everything (both ways). UCLA could have put the game away and missed a bunch of free throws. UCLA finished 17-30 from the line (with Bryce saving our behinds going 8-10).
It was a strange game with Long Beach out rebounding UCLA. UCLA won in part because they took care of the ball with only 5 turnovers to 18 for Long Beach. UCLA scored 25 points off turnovers!
A box score is here. A few quick takeaways.
- Kevon Looney looks to be the best offense rebounder UCLA has had since Kevin Love. He had a double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds (7 on offense).
- Norman Powell was the MVP with 24 points 6 rebounds and 6 steals. His matchup, former Bruin Tyler Lamb was 1-8 with 4 turnovers.
- Good news all our starters scored in double figures, bad news our bench scored 4 points and shot 1-7 and 1-4 from the free throw line. Every starter except Parker (who had foul issues) played 30 minutes with Bryce playing 38 and Powell 37. (It is worth noting we did not score when Bryce was out.)