Cronin wins UCLA debut as Bruins rally past Long Beach State
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tyger Campbell scored 15 points, Cody Riley added 14 and UCLA rallied in the second half to defeat Long Beach State 69-65 on Wednesday night in Mick Cronin’s debut as Bruins coach.
Long Beach led most of the game and was up by as many as eight six minutes into the second half. A layup by Michael Carter III gave Long Beach a 56-50 advantage with 5:39 remaining before UCLA seized momentum with a 13-2 run.
Jalen Hill tied it at 58 with a pair of free throws before Chris Smith’s jumper and Prince Ali’s 3-pointer put the Bruins up 63-58 with 90 seconds left.
Carter III’s 3-pointer drew the Beach within 65-62 with 36.9 seconds remaining. David Singleton made the first of two free throws to extend the margin to four before Smith blocked a Carter III layup attempt and grabbed the rebound .
Smith added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Bruins.
Carter III scored 20 and Chance Hunter 19 for Long Beach State, which made nine 3-pointers.
Long Beach jumped out to a 16-7 lead with 12:36 remaining in the first half on three straight 3-pointers by Hunter. The Beach remained in the lead for most of the first half before the Bruins went on a 7-2 rally, capped off by Jalen Hill’s layup with 3:07 remaining to give them a 27-26 lead.
Long Beach closed out the half with seven straight points to take a 33-27 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Long Beach State: The Beach has nine newcomers and just four returning players, but looked like the more veteran team than the Bruins, who have 13 returning players.
UCLA: Cronin is the eighth of the 11 coaches since John Wooden to win his Bruins debut.
Long Beach: Hosts San Diego on Saturday.
UCLA: Hosts UC Santa Barbara on Sunday.