Jack Wang has the perfect if too narrow lead for this week's game Sunday against USC:
Asked this week what it was like watching film of his team's loss to USC, Ben Howland didn't mince words.
"It's depressing," the UCLA coach said.
The Trojans stunned the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion three weeks ago, debuting in the new stadium with a 75-71 overtime upset. It marked UCLA's only consecutive loss this season, and sent USC on a four-game winning streak that made interim coach Bob Cantu a legitimate candidate for the full-time job.
Point guard Larry Drew II had the most pointed words that night: "When we play SC again, it's going to be war."
The only good thing about Howland's record against USC is the number combination 13-9. That combination of numbers brings back good memories for football. But for basketball, I will paraphrase what an unfiltered Bill Walton might say: How did we lose to USC nine times? Here is each game with a brief description.
1/28/2004 USC at UCLA, In Howland's first USC game UCLA's loses 69-76 and Howland has the following eerie quote: "That's a very disappointing loss, especially the way we played in the first half," Howland said. "We didn't play with a passion until we were getting embarrassed." Wow, how many times have we heard that over the years? Didn't that just happen in the Cal game. 0-1
2/25/2004 UCLA 77 at USC 78 (OT). Embarrassing battle of two teams with losing records. USC's star Desmon Farmer says: "This is definitely the most memorable win in my career. It's number one," Farmer said. "This feels great because we kept our head in the game. We let everyone know who is the number one team in Los Angeles." 0-2
1/29/2005 UCLA 72 at USC 69. "UCLA had to rally from an 18-point halftime deficit to snap a four-game losing streak to its crosstown rival." 1-2
2/24/2005 USC 69 at UCLA 90. UCLA embarrasses USC: "It's not about losing, it's how we lost. That wasn't USC basketball," Interim Coach Jim Saia said. "You've got to play defense and we didn't stop anybody. It was our worst game." 2-2
1/18/2006 USC 45 at UCLA 66. Ben Ball has arrived: "For the first time this season, UCLA (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) played 40 minutes of stifling defense. The reward was a one-sided victory." 3-2
2/19/2006 UCLA 68 at USC 71. Freaky upset when a backup USC PG has the game of his life. Another reason to hate Dan Guerrero: "The game was UCLA's 133rd and last at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, where the Bruins have a 105-28 record." Thanks to Dan this was wrong years later. 3-3.
2/7/2007 21 USC 65 at 2 UCLA 70. USC loses it cool: "A technical foul against senior co-captain Lodrick Stewart undid everything Southern California had built for 75 minutes against No. 2 UCLA. Stewart's angry spike sent the ball sky-high with 4 1/2 minutes left and with it went USC's hopes of upsetting its crosstown rival. " 5-3
1/19/2008 USC 72 at 4 UCLA 63. Anyone think Luc was a key player? "UCLA's Luc Richard Mbah a Moute sustained a concussion in the first half and appeared briefly in the second half before leaving the game." 5-4
2/17/2008 6 UCLA 56 at USC 46. "UCLA returned to tough-nosed defense, its passion stoked by crosstown rival Southern California and first-place in the Pac-10 on the line. . . . "Luc was a huge boost for us even though he's not at full strength," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. " 6-4
3/14/2008 PAC 12 Tourney game USC 54-2 UCLA 57. "UCLA became the third school in NCAA history to win 30 or more games in three straight seasons, joining Kentucky and Memphis." 7-4
2/4/2009 USC 60 at 12 UCLA 76. ""This was a great spanking," USC coach Tim Floyd said. "They really put it on us." 9-4
3/13/2009 PAC 12 Tourney USC 65- 14 UCLA 55. "They shut down Collison, UCLA's leading scorer who was held to four points -- 10 under his average and had a season-high seven turnovers in his final Pac-10 tourney. . . . "Darren's back really affected him, especially on back-to-back nights," Howland said, referring to Collison's sore tailbone that he hurt last weekend." Think Colison was worn down by the Tourney this season? 9-5
1/16/2010 USC 67 at UCLA 46. Worst ever loss: "with their biggest victory at Pauley since it opened in 1965 -- and their biggest win over UCLA anywhere since the 1940s. USC, which already banned itself from postseason play this spring, earned its first road victory of the season with this one-sided win." 9-6
2/14/2010 UCLA 64 at USC 68 "It was the first time since 2004 and only the sixth time in the last 50 years that the Trojans (15-9, 7-5 Pac-10) won both regular season meetings." 9-7
1/9/2011 UCLA 52 at USC 63. "The Trojans opened both halves with scoring bursts in front of a sellout home crowd that was notable for its small amount of UCLA fans." 9-8
1/15/2012 UCLA 66 at USC 47. "Travis Wear had 19 points and eight rebounds, and UCLA built an 18-point halftime lead en route to a 66-47 victory over Southern California on Sunday night to keep the Trojans winless in Pac-12 play with their sixth consecutive loss overall." 11-8
2/15/2012 USC 54 at UCLA 64. "Travis Wear recorded his first career double-double." USC is a bad team. 12-8
3/7/2012 PAC 12 Tourney UCLA 55 USC 40. Painful win in an ugly game. "UCLA big man Joshua Smith didn't play in the first half at the decision of coach Ben Howland. He finished with five points and zero rebounds after picking up three fouls in less than a minute. " 13-8
And then the depressing loss. Will Travis continue to play well against USC? Well the Bruins bounce back?
Go Bruins. Beat SC!