LOS ANGELES -- USC led by as many as 17 points in the first half before Long Beach State used a late surge in an 84-79 overtime victory to spoil the debut of Trojans star freshman Bronny James.
James returned to the court less than five months after going into cardiac arrest during a preseason workout in late July. Coming into the game, James was expected to be on a minutes restriction and finished with four points, three rebounds, two assists and a block in 16 minutes of action.
"I just wanted to say I'm thankful for everything," Bronny James said after the game. "(From) The Mayo Clinic and everything they helped me with, my parents and siblings supporting me through this hard time in my life. I just want to give appreciation to everyone that's helped me through this. Also, my coach, my teammates and other coaches."
James did not take questions from reporters.
"Bronny handles the spotlight extremely well," USC coach Andy Enfield said. "He's a passionate young man about playing basketball. I'm not sure what will happen in the future as far as spotlight, but he handles it very well."
The Trojans (5-4) were coming off a loss to Gonzaga in Las Vegas and now have lost three of their last four games after a 4-1 start to the season.
Long Beach State (7-4) faced its third Big Six program of the season and improved to 3-0 with wins over Michigan, DePaul and most recently, USC.
The next action for James and USC is next Sunday on the road against Auburn. The Trojans have a four-game road trip before returning home to face Cal on Jan. 3.
It is not clear if James will be allowed to see more action in the next few games.
"We will continue to monitor that, that's not my decision," Enfield said. "He played his restriction tonight, his minutes restriction, and I thought he played well in those minutes."
- USC missed 16 free throws and turned the ball over 19 times in the loss
- Long Beach State star Marcus Tsohonis scored a game-high 28 points in only 27 minutes
- USC star freshman Isaiah Collier struggled from the free throw line and converted only 5-of-12 attempts from the charity stripe.