The local news media for the most part is very frustrating making their headlines all about UCLA snapping a four game losing streak against Southern Cal. Yes, UCLA basketball was truly awful last year and exhibit A of that was three bad losses to Southern Cal. Yes, Southern Cal beat UCLA earlier this season but I was sick of reading this spin in places like the LA Times and Orange County Register:
When UCLA tipped off against USC Saturday night, the No. 6 team in the country was simply trying to avoid embarrassment. A loss would have extended USC's win streak against UCLA to five games, its longest in the rivalry since the 1940s.
Compared to AP: Pac-12: Sixth-ranked UCLA steamrolls USC to remain perfect in February. This was not the avoidance of embarrassment. This was complete domination:
Playing their first game in six days, the Bruins (22-5, 9-5 Pac-12) avenged an 84-76 loss at USC last month to remain the league's only unbeaten team this month. They are 14-1 at home. . . .
Led by Welsh, the Bruins extended their lead to 15 points to open the second half. He scored eight of their 18 points to start the half, with Leaf hitting a 3-pointer that made it 61-46.
The Trojans never got closer than nine points before the rout was on.
Alford's alley-oop pass set up Ball's dunk that had the crowd in a tizzy before Alford hit UCLA's 10th 3-pointer for a 96-66 lead. Ball's dunk got the Bruins to the century mark for the ninth time this season.
The contrasts were obvious and enjoyable fun to watch. From TJ leaf:
"It was a lot of fun. Anytime playing a rival like that and you get up big at the end, it just gets a lot more fun. The whole game was a lot of fun for us and it was just a good win."
It was back to being "Just SC" again:
Frustrations were evident for USC in the final minutes when Coach Andy Enfield earned an oddly timed technical foul while the Bruins were in transition. USC forward Bennie Boatwright, who missed the first meeting while recovering from a knee injury, had 20 points and 10 rebounds, but his teammates weren't nearly as crisp as they had been against the Bruins last month. The Trojans shot 34% from the field Saturday and were outrebounded 50-33.
. . . "Once they got going," USC guard Jordan McLaughlin said, "it's kind of tough to stop."
Senior Bryce Alford earns the last word:
"It's just one of those things, you get on a roll. I just love this game so much. I'm so passionate about the game of basketball, UCLA, and everything that's happened to me in my four years here. When I get it going for my team and I know I'm helping my team win, it's just what happens to my face [snarling]."
"When you're up 20 with a couple minutes left, sometimes you kind of take your foot off the pedal but that's what we learned not to do. We've had games where we were up 20 in the second half before where games have been cut closer. We were just trying to put together a full forty minutes. That was our goal and it's our goal every game. Tonight, we finally did that really well."
And some video proof:
Adding insult to injury, UCLA pushed it to a 30-point lead with a Bryce Alford to Lonzo ball alley-oop and then a Bryce NBA range 3. pic.twitter.com/otDqAbuPWP— Derrek Li (@DerrekLi) February 19, 2017
It was a nice time to play 40 minutes and play it well. Good job, Bruins.