USC Just Absolutely Owns UCLA Nowadays!

Ben Bolch (LA Times)  —  USC is still in the running for the Pac-12 title.

It took a dramatic finish to keep the Trojans’ hopes alive Saturday, Tahj Eaddy (above) taking an inbounds pass from Ethan Anderson and draining a corner three-pointer with one second left.

UCLA’s Jules Bernard got off a desperation shot that was off the mark at the buzzer, completing the Bruins’ third consecutive collapse Saturday afternoon during the Trojans’ wild 64-63 triumph at Pauley Pavilion.

This time, UCLA lost an 11-point halftime lead as well as an eight-point advantage with five minutes left, failing to show the toughness that Mick Cronin said his team needed in taut games.

UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Bernard both missed the front end of one-and-one situations in the final minute that could have padded the Bruins’ lead.

USC (21-6 overall, 15-5 Pac-12) is assured of finishing no worse than second in the conference and could win it if Oregon State beats Oregon on Sunday in Corvallis. The Trojans swarmed Eaddy after his winning shot ended UCLA’s 18-game home winning streak and extended USC’s winning streak in the cross-town rivalry to four games.

With its third consecutive agonizing setback, UCLA (17-8, 13-6) assured itself of finishing fourth in the conference standings. The Bruins will play Oregon State in a Pac-12 tournament quarterfinal game Thursday afternoon at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Trailing for almost the entire game, the Trojans drew to within 61-60 with 2:25 left after Evan Mobley blocked a Jaquez spinning layup and Drew Peterson drained a three-pointer in transition.

UCLA’s Cody Riley made a long jumper to extend the Bruins’ advantage to 63-60 but the Trojans had a chance to tie the score when coach Andy Enfield called a timeout with 55 seconds left.

Mobley had a shot blocked by Riley and missed a three-pointer, and the Trojans fouled UCLA’s Jaquez. But Jaquez missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Trojans got the ball back with 39 seconds left.

Chevez Goodwin got fouled on a jumper that almost went in and made one of two free throws to trim the Bruins’ lead to 63-61. USC fouled Bernard with 11 seconds left and he missed the front end of the one and one. Eaddy went down along the baseline and the Bruins tied him up, forcing a jump ball that went to USC with 3.7 seconds left to set up Anderson’s inbounds pass.

UCLA played without leading scorer Johnny Juzang, the sophomore guard who tweaked his right ankle in practice Friday.

Mobley had 13 points and Goodwin and Eaddy added 12 apiece for the Trojans.

UCLA played perhaps its most inspired opening half of the season, locked in on both sides of the court while building a 36-25 halftime lead. The Bruins’ final play of the half, coming out of a timeout, was perfectly executed.

Shooting guard Jake Kyman served as a decoy, drawing the defense on the wing before finding David Singleton in the corner for a three-pointer. Singleton had a team-high nine points off the bench in the first half, making three of four three-pointers.

The Trojans were screaming mad after falling behind 20-7, assistant coach Chris Capko yelling at players in the timeout huddle and pointing to the scoreboard after UCLA came out insanely hot, making eight of its first 10 shots.

UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell was slapping hands and receiving a tender pat on the head after throwing a bounce pass to Mac Etienne for a dunk that forced USC coach Andy Enfield to call timeout.

The Trojans rallied, working the ball inside and getting a nifty drive from Evan Mobley to cap a 9-1 run that pulled them within 21-16. UCLA put the clamps on USC for the rest of the half, Jaylen Clark intercepting a pass into the post and taking a charge on Isaiah Mobley.

The Trojans hurt themselves by missing all six three-pointers in the first half as well as four of their nine free throws.

Juzang warmed up with his teammates, testing his ankle through a hard sprint. A team spokesman said he was available to play off the bench. The Bruins went with a two-post starting lineup in Juzang’s absence, pairing Etienne with Riley.

USC was also short-handed with senior starting guard Isaiah White unable to play because of back spasms.

The Bruins honored Chris Smith before the game, presenting the senior guard with a framed jersey in honor of his final appearance inside Pauley Pavilion. He suffered a torn knee ligament on Dec. 31 and was lost for the season.

His teammates couldn’t give him a happy sendoff.

latimes.com

__________

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LawyerJohn
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March 8, 2021 10:07 pm

Does the SC alumni really-care about SC basketball?… Well, after years of consideration, I say ‘no’….. Their loss… 2020 was one of SC’s best all-time teams. And the 2021 team is even better, and not yet finished. The cliche, “Build it and they will come,” in plain English translates to ‘You better win you over-paid coach, or you are history.’… And then there is ‘Los Angeles,’ Spanish for ‘The Angels.’– Who says?… We have “evolved’ into New York “tough,”– “You better win, you morons, or you will have seen the last of me!– Oh, and Pilgrim, winning is not enough–… Read more »

Terrific Tommy
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March 9, 2021 6:45 pm
Reply to  LawyerJohn

I sure do — ergo, my years of purchasing season tickets

HOF19
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March 8, 2021 12:22 pm

So this Thursday 8:30 PM ( New York time) SC will be playing either Washington or Utah…….Will try to find it on TV in the East Coast (I am not optimistic I will be able to see the game live ) ………. As Always >>>>>>> FIGHT ON !!!!!

Last edited 1 year ago by HOF19
TrojanRJJ
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March 8, 2021 12:56 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Fink is obviously smart. He is not an NFL prospect and knows it. If he returns, he risks major injury behind this OL. He is also no where near as talented and the incoming frosh and was probably told he would get no reps this spring. He has a master’s degree – time to get on with life. Admirable decision – most jocks simply cannot make that adjustment. Fink knew when it was time to quite and realized that the kids coming in were going to get all the staff attention.

trojandn
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March 8, 2021 5:46 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I remember that game because I was sitting near a bunch of Utah fans. They were getting mad and frustrated because Matt was tossing the ball up for grabs and the USC receivers were using their athleticism to make the catch over the Utah defenders. It was exciting and hilarious at the same time. 😇

rleeholder1
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March 10, 2021 4:43 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I agree 100% Allen. I will always remember what Matt did against Utah. He came in cold and got the win in a pivotal game that year. Getting a Masters from USC is a big feather in his cap. I wish him nothing but the very best! Fight On Matt!!

RialtoTrojan
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March 8, 2021 11:39 am

Does anyone see Oregon as milking the Covid situation? Don’t wanna chance it-call in sick and what the heck it worked in Football let’s try it in Basketball. Because some teams rescheduled their missed games and took the chance, Oregon’s record should reflect forfeiture of games not played due to Covid. For the record I totally ignored the game on Saturday (no point in jinxing it) but I saw replays of the winning shot, which probably allowed Oregon to beat Oregon State on Sunday. I’ll have to go to Madame Zelda and see if I can get this Jinx thing… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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March 8, 2021 12:57 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Rather odd the league winning OR is not ranked, but in BB that does not matter. The rankings are actually played out.

LawyerJohn
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March 8, 2021 7:44 am

I used to like lake ducks, but no more. I see then now and crave to paint them cardinal-and-gold… But the Ducks, the Oregon kind, are slightly more tolerable than sucla’s Midget-Bears, and during the past decade the Quackers taken over the Pac-12. So long, sucla…. SC does not shoot well, so how well will they do in the national Tournament? Even current sucla-slayer Tahj was a poor 4 of 13 from the field. The Trojans go into 6-7 minute scoring slumps… And Coach Andy, once one of the best free-throw shooters in the nation, can’t DNA the skill to… Read more »

ATL D.D.S.
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March 8, 2021 8:06 am
Reply to  LawyerJohn

There is a big talent jump from the round of 64 to the round of 32. Teams know how to beat us or at least take it down to the wire. Make us shoot from the outside and from the foul line and that will keep our scoring way down. First round team, we can overcome that with raw talent. Second round–50/50 at best. But to get to the second week of the tourney would be nice.

John Weld
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March 7, 2021 7:26 pm

Oregon is the PAC-12 Champion after defeating Oregon State, 80-67.

USC is the #2 seed in the PAC-12 tournament and gets a first round by and then plays the winner of No. 7 Utah vs. No. 10 Washington.🏀

Terrific Tommy
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March 7, 2021 11:12 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Allen, that’s why I quit betting on “sports” years ago. 😎

TrojanRJJ
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March 7, 2021 1:45 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

How odd is the rushing stat? Didn’t you report he ran for 238 all season? So he got about half of his rushing total against UCLA? As I recall, Vavae ran in the winning score against AZ and was instrumental in two critical runs against ASU. Might not have been many yards, but he certainly made them count.

Chris
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March 7, 2021 4:29 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Our win probably was 100%, because ______ the bRuins.

LawyerJohn
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March 7, 2021 9:44 am

As the popular song goes, SC woke up this morning singing, “Good morning America, how are ya!” whereas sucla cried after the game “Good night, America.”…

SC trailed the entire game, until the last second. But that is the only second that counts….

But let us not forget Petersen’s 2 threes that set up the winning shot, and isn’t it nice that an obviously good kid like Tahj, however the rest of his career goes, will for the rest of his life frequently recall his “historic,” falling backwards, desperation heave.

John Weld
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March 7, 2021 9:41 am

The Game Winner

TrojanRJJ
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March 7, 2021 6:55 am

Obviously, I do not understand BB. My standard is the Wooden era UCLA teams and that type of team is simply never going to exist again. First, the one and done rule and second, I doubt any team will be allowed to cheat as flagrantly as UCLA did over that 10 year period (UCLA’s players were clearly by Sam Gilbert to play and the UCLA administration, including Wooden, knew it). I do have to admit that it was fun to watch. That second point makes a total mockery of what the NCAA did to SC over Bush, which was really… Read more »

TrojanRJJ
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March 7, 2021 7:23 am
Reply to  TrojanRJJ

OOPS, meant to say “were clearly paid by Sam Gilbert.”

rleeholder1
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March 7, 2021 6:33 am

Second year in a row that USC has won on a last second shot in the second UCLA game to complete a sweep for two years in a row! Duces are wild! For those of us who were student’s in the late 60’s and throughout the 1970’s, sweeping the bRUINS two years in a row seems unfathomable. I’ll take a win over UCLA in any sport, but one in Basketball is special!

Cezwonski
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March 6, 2021 5:51 pm

UNREAL !

ATL D.D.S.
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March 8, 2021 8:19 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I started watching the game, SC fell behind early by double digits, decided I would go to 5 o’clock Mass and do a couple of errands. Asked the wife to tape the rest of the game and I would watch when I returned. A couple of hours later I returned and the wife glumly told me that SC had at least made a game of it. So I start watching the replay, “knowing” that we lost. We get to the final minute and I am thinking, “if we could shoot a damn a free throw, we would of won the… Read more »

Terrific Tommy
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March 8, 2021 10:26 am
Reply to  ATL D.D.S.

And once again ATL, you’ve proven that when everything else around you is turning to crap, going to Mass can work miracles. 😍

ATL D.D.S.
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March 9, 2021 6:01 am
Reply to  Terrific Tommy

Yes, the Lord abides! Hadn’t thought if it in quite that light before….😎

Amen and Alleluia! Beat the (worthless) Bruins!

Rushmore
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March 6, 2021 4:39 pm

Exasperating to watch—especially the free throw incompetence, for 39 minutes and 58.6 seconds. But how sweet it was when Eaddy’s three ball went through the net. Back to football: Drevno and Chip?! What’s up with that?

Terrific Tommy
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March 6, 2021 5:28 pm
Reply to  Rushmore

But the beauty of the our mind is that shot is all we’ll ever care to remember. 😊

ATL D.D.S.
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March 8, 2021 9:27 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Drevno will get fired after USC stops paying Tim.