Sunday, February 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: UCLA 75, USC 59
By Peter Yoon
LOS ANGELES -- The UCLA Bruins avenged an earlier loss to the crosstown rival USC Trojans with a 75-59 victory Sunday at the Galen Center.
How it happened: Five players scored in double figures for the Bruins, who dominated from start to finish and UCLA (20-7, 10-4) stayed within a half-game of Pac-12 Conference co-leaders Arizona and Oregon.
UCLA started hot, making eight of its first 10 shots and held an 18-6 lead before the Trojans knew what hit them. UCLA led 47-26 at halftime and extended it to 25 points in the second half before USC finally made a run to make it 68-59 with four minutes to play. The Bruins made 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Things got chippy during the second half as UCLA’s Norman Powell and USC’s Omar Oraby were assessed technical fouls after an altercation, and USC’s Byron Wesley was called for a flagrant foul after sending Shabazz Muhammad hard to the ground on a fast break.
Jordan Adams led UCLA with 20 points, and Kyle Anderson, Larry Drew II and Muhammad each added 11. David Wear had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins. It was Wear's first double-double since the season opener against Indiana State.
Muhammad’s 11 points were his fewest since scoring 10 Jan. 19 against Oregon and he made only two of seven shots -- the fewest number of field goals he has made this season. The Bruins also played without third-leading scorer Travis Wear (sprained foot). Still, the Bruins received solid efforts across the board, especially from Tony Parker (eight points, three rebounds) and David Wear to help offset the missing usual production from Muhammad and Travis Wear.
Player of the game: Adams made seven of 11 shots and two of three 3-point baskets to reach the 20-point mark for the second consecutive game. Adams, who began the season with four consecutive games of 20 points or more, hadn’t scored 20 since Dec. 22 against Fresno State until the past two games. He has led the team in scoring in two of the past three games.
Stat of the game: The Bruins held USC to 35.3 percent shooting. It is the lowest opponent shooting percentage against UCLA since Prairie View A&M shot 34.4 percent on Dec. 15 and the lowest of any Pac-12 team against the Bruins this season. UCLA has now held consecutive opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the field.
What it means: UCLA showed maturity and poise by going into a hostile environment and keeping its cool during an emotional revenge game. Those traits will come in handy down the stretch as games are going to get more and more intense as the stakes raise for the rest of the season. The Pac-12 title will be on the line each game the rest of the season and the Bruins seem to be getting hot with four wins in their past five games.
What’s next: UCLA will be looking to avenge another loss when the Bruins face Arizona State on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. PT at Pauley Pavilion. USC will play Arizona on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Galen Center.