Sunday, December 13, 2015

UCLA Downs Long Beach State, 83-76

UCLA Athletics
Isaac Hamilton finished with 21 points in UCLA's 83-76 victory (photo by Scott Chandler)
By: UCLA Athletics
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LOS ANGELES - Bryce Alford scored a season-high 24 points to help the UCLA basketball team defeat Long Beach State, 83-76, in a non-conference game in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday night.
Isaac Hamilton registered a season-best 21 points and registered four rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Tony Parker (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Thomas Welsh (15 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles, as UCLA overcame a nine-point deficit in the first half just three days after taking down No. 1-ranked Kentucky in Pauley Pavilion.
“This was going to be a tough game, and we knew it,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “That team [Long Beach State] has played a lot of good teams already. They are used to playing a difficult schedule. We knew it would be hard coming off the Kentucky win. But we can’t be a team of excuses. We need to be one of growth, and we did grow.”
Long Beach State (5-5), playing its third game in the last four days, claimed a narrow 38-37 lead at halftime and led by as many as four points early in the second half. With the 49ers ahead, 32-23, and 6:24 to play before intermission, UCLA chipped away with seven consecutive points scored by Alford.
After Parker stole the ball and hit a jumper with 2:30 remaining, Alford connected on a contested 3-pointer before falling to the ground as the game evened, 35-35.
The visiting 49ers received a team-leading 24 points from Nick Faust, who made 9 of 19 shots and nailed 5 of 11 three-point field goal attempts.
UCLA never trailed past the 18:16 mark in the second half, pushing its margin to as many as 12 points – 60-48 – with 13:20 to play. Long Beach State reduced the gap to three points – 68-65 – after an old-fashioned 3-point play by Roschon Prince with seven minutes remaining.
The 49ers got to within one point twice in the game’s final six minutes but could never take the lead. After Long Beach State’s Justin Bibbins made a pair of free throws to cut the Bruins’ lead to 72-71, Parker made a layup with 4:03 to play. Welsh followed with a jump shot, making the score 76-71 with 3:32 left in the second half.
UCLA helped put the game out of reach in the final minute. Hamilton was fouled while converting a layup under the glass and made the ensuing free throw, pushing the Bruins’ advantage to 81-76 with 50 seconds remaining.
The Bruins will return to action at No. 13 Gonzaga on Saturday, Dec. 12. Game time is slated for 7 p.m. (PT). UCLA’s game at Gonzaga will be nationally televised by ESPN2.

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