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USC Basketball Falls to UCLA, 83-66

The Bruins exploded for 23-2 run to pull away early in the second half.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA opened the second half on a 15-2 run and dominated the glass from start to finish, en route to an 83-66 victory over the USC Trojans at the Galen Center on Wednesday night. The Bruins out rebounded the Trojans 41-20. It was the third straight conference win for UCLA and the second straight loss for the Trojans, who fell to 1-2 on their three-game homestand.

Four of UCLA’s starters scored in double figures, led by 22 points from Norman Powell and 21 points from Bryce Alford, including five three pointers. Kevon Looney chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Tony Parker tallied 14 points and seven rebounds. Nikola Jovanovic led the Trojans with 20 points, his 12th consecutive game in double figures. Darion Clark had 11 points off the bench. Malik Marquetti and Katin Reinhardt each put up 10 points.

Julian Jacobs, who had been one of USC’s best players over the past few weeks, picked up two quick fouls and went to the bench. When he came back in midway through the first half, he promptly picked up an ill-advised third foul on an illegal screen at the 9:24 mark and had to sit for the rest of the first half. The sophomore finished just 1-of-6 with four points after having 33 points in the last two games combined.

The Trojans fell behind early 18-10, but went on a 21-10 run late in the first half to take a three-point lead with 2:48 left. UCLA, though, scored the final eight points of the half to begin a 23-2 run that essentially iced the game. USC briefly snuck within nine at 61-52, but UCLA cruised from there.

The Bruins were able to get any shot they wanted, especially in the paint, where they outscored USC 46-30. They shot 56.5 percent (35-62 FG), while holding the Trojans to just 41.4 percent (24-58 FG). USC was able to stay in the game in the first half, in part due to nine Bruin turnovers.

The Bruins improved to 3-2 in Pac-12 play and 11-7 overall. USC fell to 9-8 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

Both teams are off for the remainder of the week before traveling to face the Oregon schools next week. USC will meet Oregon in Eugene on Thursday and UCLA will take on Oregon State in Corvallis.