LOS ANGELES — It was like deja vu for the No. 8 UCLA Bruins, but without the happy ending.
When they last played the USC Trojans, they led by 18 points early in the game. This time, they were up by 12 points at halftime. That was before the Trojans went on a 25-6 run to build a second-half lead, like last time when they snatched a late lead. However, tonight the Bruins could not escape in the final minute with a narrow win. Instead, the Trojans closed the game out and won 77-64.
Boogie Ellis led their comeback effort by coming alive in the second half from all three levels, where he exploded for 27 points. Those 27 points were the same amount as the entire Bruins’ team scored in the same period.
Ellis finished with 31 points, six assists, and four rebounds.
Drew Petersen was a reliable force for the Trojans all night. He mostly converted from beyond the arc, where he made three three-pointers.
Petersen ended with 16 points and four rebounds.
The Trojans brought the victory bell to the Galen Center for their victory. The bell has been given to the winner of the Bruins and Trojans football games since 1942. The Trojans displayed their cardinal-painted bell in front of the No. 8 UCLA Bruins as they beat them.
One of the differences from the two’s last matchup was the Trojans played with Vince Iwuchukwu this time. In their previous matchup, he was out while recovering from a cardiac arrest he suffered before the season.
Iwuchukwu displayed crafty moves and showed terrific touch in the post. However, he only attempted three shots, making two of them.
Bruins’ center Adem Bona matched up against Iwuchukwu. He found success around the glass, crashing the offensive boards and grabbing five offensive rebounds.
Bona scored seven points and picked up seven rebounds. His efforts contributed to the Bruins’ out-rebounding the Trojans 34-26.
Amari Bailey returned to the Bruins’ after a seven-game absence due to a foot injury. However, instead of his usual starting role, he played 23 minutes off the bench.
Bailey scored 11 points, making four of the ten shots he attempted.
David Singleton, who was starting in his place while he was out, stayed in the lineup. He excelled from beyond the arc, making four three-pointers en route to a 14-point night.
Tyger Campbell also scored 14 points, ten of which came in the first half.
The loss is the Bruins’ second straight for the first time this season. They will have a chance for redemption when they face the Washington Huskies next.
The Trojans tied the season series at one game each with their win. They will play the Washington State Cougars next.