UCLA basketball: Bruins pull away for ragged 80-72 victory
There was a roll call, a recognizable voice over the loudspeakers and even the fan with blue hair heckling opponents when they shot free throws.
There was a comforting familiarity for UCLA at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario on Sunday afternoon when the No. 17 Bruins started their season-long road show.
UCLA turned in an uneven but ultimately triumphant performance, pulling out an 80-72 victory over Cal State San Bernardino before 6,259.
Sophomore Joshua Smith helped the Bruins rally from a 60-58 deficit with 7 minutes 33 seconds left by continually taking feeds and bulling his way around the interior during a 9-0 run. Smith finished with a game-high 26 points and seven rebounds, making 14 of 18 free-throw attempts.
Junior forward Reeves Nelson had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins, who were missing Jerime Anderson as the backup point guard started serving his two-game suspension in connection with the theft of a laptop computer on campus this summer.
Senior guard Lazeric Jones and sophomore forward Travis Wear added 10 points apiece for UCLA, which outrebounded the Division II Coyotes, 40-30, and committed three fewer turnovers.
Senior forward Theron Laudermill scored 16 points for Cal State San Bernardino, which shot 44.4% to UCLA's 39.6% but had two key players, forward Kwame Alexander and Tre' Brewer, foul out in the final 5:11.
We'll have more later at www.latimes.com/sports.
-- Ben Bolch
Photo: UCLA center Joshua Smith is fouled by Cal State San Bernardino's Tre' Brewer while attempting a shot in the first half Sunday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times