Southern Cal clearly came to play tonight.
For almost the first ten minutes of the game, both teams kept it close with neither team leading by more than four points. In fact, the game was tied five times in the first six minutes.
With the score tied at 13, Isaac Hamilton made a layup and Tony Parker added a jumper to give the Bruins a 17-13 lead with 13:35 to go in the first half.
But, that was the point at which the Trojans seized control of the game.
That was when JustSC went on a 19-3 run over the next eight minutes to grab a 34-20 lead. During the run the officials even called a technical foul on UCLA coach Steve Alford, resulting in two successful free throws for Southern Cal.
But, even though the Trogan run ended, the Bruins still had a hard time stopping them on defense as JustSC outscored UCLA 14-10 in final six minutes of the first half sending the teams into the locker rooms with Southern Cal leading by 18 points, 48-30.
After the break, Southern Cal came out of the locker room with the same momentum they took into it as they stretched the lead to 21 points with a Metu dunk.
With 16:30 to go, UCLA finally decided to play some defense and go on a run of their own. Tony Parker tipped a shot in to make it 58-39 to start the run. The Bruins scored another nine consecutive points to cut the lead to ten with 14 minutes left.
But, then the defense disappeared again.
The Bruins run ended and the team wasn't able to cut Southern Cal's lead into single digits until a Tony Parker dunk made it a nine-point game with about five minutes left.
That was as close as the Bruins would get as they dropped an important home game to the Trogans by a score of 89-75.
Tony Parker led all scorers with 27 points while adding 12 rebounds giving him his ninth double-double this season. Isaac Hamilton also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, sophomore Jordan McLaughlin led the Trogans with 23 points and freshman Chimezie Metu had 21.
It might have been a closer game if UCLA had relied more on their big men than on their guards. The combo of Welsh and Parker was 19 of 27 from the field while the three starting guards shot a miserable 12 for 35. UCLA would also have been better off going inside than shooting from beyond the three-point arc tonight as they shot a terrible 21% from three-point land, only making 4 of 19 from there.
The loss to Southern Cal is the first time Steve Alford has lost to UCLA's crosstown rival since he became head coach. He is now 7-1 versus the Trojans.