Remember when USC basketball was up by 10?
That was the sentiment in the second half as the Trojans (10-13, 1-9) watched a first half lead dwindle and vanish when rival UCLA basketball started the second half on fire. The Bruins (18-5, 7-3) made nine of their first 12 shots!
USC held a 41-35 lead at halftime behind an impressive 18-point half from Byron Wesley. Wesley was 7-of-9 from the field and knocked down all four of his three-point attempts.
The Trojans shot 59.3 percent in the first half, but saw opportunities to widen its lead disappear after eight first-half turnovers and 4-for-10 shooting from the free throw line.
After the break, the Bruins quickly erased the Trojan lead, outscoring USC 27-6 to start the half and eventually building a 16-point lead of its own.
"They really came out and stepped it up in the second half when they had to," USC head coach Andy Enfield said. " We knew the second half would be a battle and it certainly was. They made a lot of shots early on. I thought it gave them a lot of confidence and they elevated their game."
Norman Powell played a large role in UCLA's turnaround, scoring 12 points during the opening run and 17 of his team-high 21 points in the last 20 minutes of the game. He was joined in double figures by Jordan Adams (17), Kyle Anderson (15) and Travis Wear (11).
USC whittled the lead down to single digits with 3:29 remaining, but couldn't capitalize on a couple of open looks late.
"Just to have a lapse in the second half for five minutes was really the story of the game," Wesley said. "Once we dug ourselves into that hole it was too deep to get out."
Byron Wesley scored a game-high 27 points while Pe'Shon Howard finished with 14 points on 4-or-13 shooting and had seven assists. J.T. Terrell chipped in 13 points, but struggled in the second half, going 2-for-8 from the floor.
USC basketball next plays on Thursday when it hosts Utah for a 7:30 p.m. PST matchup with the Utes that will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. UCLA basketball next hosts Colorado on Thursday at 5 p.m. PST.