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UCLA 90, USC 69

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The UCLA Bruins rang up a string of
impressive individual numbers and still had fine teamwork in a rout
of crosstown rival USC.

Freshman Arron Afflalo had the gaudiest stats, logging career
highs of 22 points and nine rebounds in the Bruins' 90-69 win
Thursday night against the Trojans.

Dijon Thompson added 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists,
and Michael Fey chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Jordan Farmar had six assists to go with his nine points.

The Bruins had 22 assists to the Trojans' 12, and outrebounded
them 42-26. UCLA shot 61 percent from the floor -- including 7-of-8
for Afflalo -- to USC's 42 percent.

UCLA coach Ben Howland liked what he saw.

"We were making plays for others, sharing the ball, and that's
contagious," he said. "We played good team defense and good
individual defense. We outboarded them.

"I'm a happy guy."

So were his players.

"Whenever you get a career high in points and rebounds, it's a
good game," Afflalo said.

Said Thompson: `This is one of the best games we've played all
year. We shared the ball, were unselfish."

Fey was on the receiving end of a lot of passes, frequently open
for uncontested dunks.

"We did a good job of penetrating and attacking the zone to get
some easy dump-offs," Fey said. "We had a highlight reel going
tonight."

Heading down the stretch of the season, the Bruins (15-9, 9-7
Pac-10) hope to finish strongly to enhance their chances of an NCAA
tournament bid.

They led 49-33 at halftime and extended the lead to as many as
32 points in the second half before both teams began substituting
freely.

Jeff McMillan led USC (11-16, 4-12) with 17 points and eight
rebounds. The Trojans, in the conference cellar, also got 11 points
from Rory O'Neil.

Jim Saia, playing out the string of his interim assignment as
head coach until Tim Floyd takes over April 1, was embarrassed by
the Trojans' performance.

"It's not about losing, it's how we lost. That wasn't USC
basketball," Saia said. "You've got to play defense and we didn't
stop anybody.

"It was our worst game."

Fey had 11 first-half points to help UCLA build its 16-point
lead.

Triggering their offense with tenacious defense, the Bruins
reeled off a 14-0 string during a four-minute span to open a 49-30
lead late in the first half.

The Bruins had an easier time of it in the rematch after having
to rally from an 18-point halftime deficit in a 72-69 win on Jan.
29. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak against USC and
was UCLA's first on the Trojans' court since 2001.

UCLA leads the all-time series 129-98.