UCLA beats Cincin­nati 79-67 to earn Sweet 16 trip

Imperial Valley Press - - SPORTS -

Lonzo Ball scored 19 points and ig­nited UCLA’s rally from a poor start with nine as­sists, lift­ing the third-seeded Bru­ins to a 79-67 vic­tory over Cincin­nati on Sun­day in the South Re­gional.

UCLA (31-4) had a hard time solv­ing sixth-seeded Cincin­nati’s ac­tive de­fense in the first half, un­able to get shots to drop or get out in tran­si­tion. The Bru­ins found a new gear in the sec­ond half, breaking out for dunks and drop­ping in strings of 3-point­ers to quickly push the lead to dou­ble dig­its.

Now UCLA is headed to its third Sweet 16 ap­pear­ance in four seasons un­der coach Steve Al­ford, eras­ing — at least in part — the 15-17 let­down of a year ago.

The Bru­ins will face No. 2 seed Ken­tucky in the South Re­gional semi­fi­nals Fri­day in Mem­phis.

Cincin­nati (30-6) had no real an­swer when the Bru­ins got rolling fall­ing short of their first Sweet 16 ap­pear­ance since 2012.

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