USC beats crosstown rival UCLA 74 -63 for 7th win in 8 games
LOS ANGELES- Nick Rakocevic had 1 point and 14 rebounds, Jonah Mathews added 16 points and Southern California defeated crosstown rival UCLA 74-63 to win for the seventh time in eight games on Saturday night.
Freshman Ethan Anderson had a career-high 14 points despite rolling his left ankle and briefly leaving the court midway through the second half for the trough the second half for the Trojans (13-3, 2-1 Pac-12). They bounced back from a 32-point loss at Washington last week in which they scored a season-low 40 points.
After being limited to six points in the first half, Rakocevic contributed to a dominant stretch when the Trojans extended their lead to double digits for the first time. He twice had back-to-back baskets, including a dunk, before Mathews hit a 3-pointer that gave USC a 58-44 lead.
UCLA ramps up its defense in the final four minutes A full-court went to court and man-to man., but the Trojans had no doubt. Anderson passed along the baseline to Daniel Utomi in the left corner and he connected on a 3-pointer for a 66-57 lead.
Mathews hit a 3-pointer under pressure for a 71-61 lead.
The Bruins moved to 18 out of 18 from the free-throw line in the second half, when they were 9 of 25 from the field in front of former UCLA greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Wicks, Jamaal Wilkes, and Earl Watson.
Trojans led by as many as five points in the first half when the Bruins were just once ahead.
The Bruins have lost five of the six and fell near the bottom of such 12. They lack big-time scores and have to rely on multiple players for the offense.
USC: Host California on Thursday after three straight road games to open Pac-12 play.
UCLA: Hosts Stanford on Wednesday in the middle of a three-game home stand.