USC beat UCLA 80-67 to end 4-game skid in crosstown rivalry
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nick Rakocevic had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Bennie Boatwright added 21 points and Southern California pulled away in a dominant second half to beat UCLA 80-67 on Saturday, snapping a four-game skid in the crosstown rivalry.
The Trojans led by 26 points in the second half.
Boatwright, a local product once recruited by the Bruins, got the decisive 28-7 run going with back-to-back 3-pointers after UCLA tied the game at 38-all. He had another 3-pointer and basket in succession and Rakocevic added nine points to give USC a 66-45 lead.
Jonah Mathews added 16 points for the Trojans (10-8, 3-2 Pac-12), who ended a two-game losing streak while winning their fifth straight home game. He had four 3-pointers and Boatwright hit five of USC’s 12.
Prince Ali and Jaylen Hands scored 15 points each for UCLA (10-8, 3-2). Kris Wilkes added 13 points.
The Bruins have lost two in a row and six of nine. They were thoroughly dominated in the second half after leading just twice in the game’s opening 20 minutes.
USC was 12 of 29 from 3-point range and had 26 assists on 30 baskets.
The Trojans delivered the first blow, opening the game on a 16-4 spurt.
UCLA answered with a 19-5 run to take a 23-22 lead, just their second of the half. But the Trojans came right back with seven straight points as part of a 14-10 run to close the first half leading 36-33.
The Bruins were held to one 3-pointer in the half when they did most of their scoring inside, owning a 25-18 edge in the paint.
UCLA: The Bruins are still finding their way three weeks after coach Steve Alford was fired. After winning their first three games under interim coach Murry Bartow, they’ve lost two in a row.
USC: The Trojans need to capitalize during a stretch of three straight home games. After the Arizona schools visit, USC has just four home games remaining. They’ve lost five in a row to Arizona
UCLA: Hosts Arizona State on Thursday.
USC: Hosts Arizona on Thursday.
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