After leading for almost the entire game against UCLA, Washington State took out their frustration by beating Southern Cal on Sunday, 81-71. For the unranked Trojans, it was their first loss in a conference game and their fourth loss this season. Tonight, they will pick up their second when they visit the Bruins at Pauley.
The loss snapped the Trojans seven-game winning streak. In fact, Southern Cal didn’t lose a game during the entire month of December.
Meanwhile, UCLA’s win over Washington was the tenth in a row for the Bruins, earning them a conference road sweep last weekend.
Interestingly, the Trojans are undefeated in games with start times of 7 pm PT or later, but all four of their losses have come in games which started before 7 pm PT. Tonight’s game tips off at 6:30 pm PT.
The challenge tonight for the Bruins is to shoot well. Southern Cal has held nine of their 15 opponents under 40% shooting. Washington State shot a season-high 49.1% against the Trojans on Sunday. The Bruins are averaging 48.8% for the season. So, if they can shoot like that tonight, it will go a long way towards a Bruin victory.
Let’s look at Andy Enfield’s starting five.
Enfield is going to start a lineup tonight consisting of four guards and a forward.
Junior Joshua Morgan will be the Trojans’ lone forward. Morgan leads the team with a 56.0% shooting percentage. Thankfully, he has only made 91 attempts. That means he averages just 8.7 ppg. Despite being the team’s big man, he’s still only second on the team in rebounds with 5.7 rpg. He does, however, lead the team in blocks with 42, which is only one fewer than the rest of the Trojans combined.
Only two Trojans are averaging in double figures in points. Boogie Ellis lead Southern Cal with an average of 16.1 ppg while Drew Peterson averages 14.0 ppg. Ellis is the Trojans’ most dangerous three-point shooter, making 37.6% of his 85 attempts. Peterson, on the other hand, is the team’s best rebounder with an average of 6.9 rpg. He also leads the team in assists with 79.
Tre White, the 6’,7” freshman guard from Dallas, looks to be the future of the team, if he doesn’t become a one-and-done guy. He’s averaging 9.3 ppg and is shooting 50.5% from the field. White is also third on the team in rebounds with an average of 5.3 per game.
Rounding out the starting five is sophomore Kobe Johnson. It’s easy to see that Johnson is one of the Trojans’ top defenders. He leads the team with 33 steals while contributing just 7.8 ppg offensively. His biggest contribution offensively comes in the assist category where he’s second on the team with 42.
The first man off the bench for the Trojans looks to be sophomore Reese Dixon-Waters. While the guard from St. Bernard HS has started seven games this year, he’s the only non-starter to play in all 15 games that Southern Cal has played. He’s also averaging more points per game, with 9.5, than three of the starters. So, look for him to see significant minutes tonight.
The only other player averaging more than ten minutes per game is true freshman forward Kijani Wright. If UCLA can get Joshua Morgan into foul trouble, Enfield will need to use Wright to eat up minutes, but there’s a huge productivity loss from Morgan to Wright as the freshman only averages 2.4 ppg and 2.1 rpg. Creating this matchup may be the key to tonight’s game.
Today’s game will be on ESPN with Dave Pasch and national treasure Bill Walton calling the game. Personally, I’m not sure why you would want to turn down the volume and not listen to Big Red, but if you do, you can listen to Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray. Just be sure to right-click on it so that you can open up another tab and have it going while you chat in the comments below. Listen to today’s game online.
This is your UCLA men’s basketball vs. Southern Cal Trojans game thread. Here’s how to watch today’s game:
Opponent: Southern Cal Trojans (11-4, 3-1)
Series Record: UCLA leads, 145-114
When: 6:30 pm PT, Thursday, January 5, 2023
Where: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
TV: ESPN with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app
Local Radio: AM 1150 with Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray
National Radio: Westwood One with Spero Dedes and Doug GottliebSatellite Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 83 (UCLA Call)
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
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Looks like Bailey is out. He is standing on the side during team warmup.
Bona D Reb then a block and a fast break finish!
Good D from Jaime!
Top 10 in O & D metrics…Mick has hit his stride
Looks like he did indeed drag a foot.
Jaylen! Bona is indeed looking better!
SPTRS!!! That ball was off the rim
D+hustle! Go Bruins!
I'm loving the energy so far, esp defensively. Keep it up!
Trippleton x 3!
Tyygerr Tygerr, in the night for 3!
Bona from Tygyyyr!
Throw it down, Bona!
Tygerr hits our 7th 3!
44-26 Bruins at the half.
UCLA 44, *$c 26 Great first half!!
Wow, what a tough shot by Jaquez!
Now where is Bruin Mamma?
The SPTRs have showed up...
Thank you Bill Walton, for the history.
Ugh, the offense is a mess right now
19 to 8 second half, $uC
Huge, Jaime! for 3
This is embarrassing.
Upper classmen have just not shown up in this second half.
We have scored 12 points in 19 minutes this half. Geez
Sick to my stomach.
Play some defense now, boys!!
Wow what a call. Now finish this!!!
Thank God, but that was still embarrassing.
What an epic collapse in the second half, but our guys made the plays in the final minute.
Lucked out for an ugly win. Good night, Mighty Bruins! We're expecting snow tomorrow.
Man, the SPTRs got that moving pick right that gave us the ball back when we were up 1, but I'm amazed they made that call
Just returned from Pauley. Horrendous 2nd half. Poor ball movement. Stagnant offense. Got out of rhythm and couldn’t even hit free throws. Defensive intensity was lacking. My highlight for the evening was two fold. Adem Bona is improving by leaps and bounds. Fun highlight in the 1st half was Drew Peterson mouthing off after hitting the 3 and drawing a T. Then, Clark shuts him down for a turnover and for 3 possessions in a row, Cronin has Clark go iso on Peterson to score. Strange game.