Thursday, January 26, 2017

This one hurts like a mother. UCLA loses to USC 84-76

from UCLA Athletics


LOS ANGELES – Isaac Hamilton scored a team-leading 20 points while Lonzo Ball tallied a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds as No. 7 UCLA fell to USC, 84-76, on Wednesday at the Trojans' Galen Center.

Hamilton recorded his fourth 20-point performance of the season to lead four Bruins who scored in double figures. Aaron Holiday scored 15 points off the bench and Thomas Welsh added 13 points. Ball tallied his seventh double-double of the season, his second of the point-rebound variety.

USC was led by Shaqquan Aaron, who scored a game-high 23 points off the bench with four 3-pointers. Elijah Stewart added 15 points, connecting on 4 of 9 shots for the Trojans (18-4, 5-4 Pac-12).

"We dug ourselves a big hole tonight in the first half with a high number of turnovers," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "That's something you cannot afford on the road against a team like USC. They were able to get a lot of points in transition, and that was thanks to our turnover woes. Our turnovers led to a lot of three-point baskets from USC."

The Bruins finished Wednesday night's game with 18 assists and 17 turnovers, shooting 48.4 percent from the field and just 30 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

UCLA (19-3, 6-3 Pac-12) trailed by as many as 15 points early in the second half but battled back to cut the lead to just four – 60-56 and then 63-59 – with less than nine minutes left in the game. The run was led by the Bruins scoring eight straight points thanks to a pair of layups by Hamilton and a three-point basket from Bryce Alford.

USC regained its momentum and increased its margin with back-to-back dunks with under six minutes to play in regulation. The Trojans pushed their lead to 74-65 after De'Anthony Melton's nailed a three-pointer with 4:17 remaining.

While the Bruins never tied the game in the second half, UCLA opened the contest with an 8-0 scoring run before pushing its advantage to as many as 10 points – 20-10 – on a dunk by Ball with 13:15 left in the first half.

The Trojans battled back and tied the game by going on a 16-6 run in the middle of the period to make the score 26-26 at the 7:51 mark. USC continued its hot shooting throughout the first half and entered the locker room at halftime on a 24-12 scoring run that was capped by Stewart's three-pointer with one second to play in the half.

Welsh scored all of his 13 points in the opening period and finished the game having made 6 of 7 shots.

UCLA dropped its fourth consecutive contest to USC after having won 10 of the previous 11 meetings in the series between the crosstown rivals. In addition, the Bruins lost for the fourth time in 12 games at the Galen Center, USC's home arena that opened prior to the 2006-07 school year.

UCLA returns to the court at Washington State on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Game time is 6 p.m. (PT). UCLA's game in Pullman, Wash., will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

Finally -> the box

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