UCLA Falls Short at Buzzer; Loses to Southern Cal, 67-64
The Bruins spent most of the game trying to catch the Trojans and, in the end, they just couldn't do it.
The UCLA Bruins entered the Galen Center tonight in the midst of a four-game losing streak to Andy Enfield’s Southern Cal Trojans. After tonight’s game, that streak is now up to five games after the Bruins lost, 67-64.
Overall, the game lived up to its billing. The biggest lead of the game by either team was just eight points. So, it was close all game long, even if UCLA only led for 6:57 compared to the Trojans’ time with the lead of 26:20. There were also nine lead changes and the game was tied for 6:43, almost as much time as the Bruins led for.
It just felt like the Bruins were playing from behind the entire night and when they did take the lead, they weren’t capable of holding onto it.
UCLA got on the board first when Tyger Campbell hit a jumper inside the paint. The Trojans came right back to tie it and then take the lead, 4-2. After the first five minutes, the Bruins had an 8-6 edge. With 14:37 left in the half, Johnny Juzang pulled up and gave UCLA a 10-6 lead. That was UCLA’s biggest lead of the game and one they wouldn’t have again until almost midway through the second half.
The rest belonged to Southern Cal. The Trojans took a 12-11 lead with 12:21 to go and, from that point forward, the Bruins would only lead for a total of 18 seconds the remainder of the first half.
To be fair to UCLA, they did manage to keep it close. They never let Southern Cal extend the lead to double digits. The Trojans’ biggest lead of the first half came with 4:49 to go when Drew Peterson buried one of his five three-pointers to stretch their lead to eight points, 27-19. With 2:25 left, the Southern Cal lead was still eight, 31-23.
I’d say that this was the point where the Bruins went on a run, but the reality is that it was Campbell who went on a run for UCLA. Tyger hit a three, a couple of free throws and another three to personally eliminate the Trojans’ lead with just 42 ticks left in the half.
Peterson managed to re-take the lead for Southern Cal with 16 seconds left and the teams went into the locker room with the Bruins down, 33-31.
UCLA fell behind by five in the first three minutes of the second half, but Jaime Jaquez, Jr. brought the Bruins to within three and Juzang tied the game at 37-37 with 15:45 to go in the game. The game was tied at 41 a piece with 13:29 left when UCLA got a pair of baskets from Jaylen Clark to take a four-point lead, 45-41, to tie their biggest lead of the game.
A 6-0 Southern Cal run flipped the script again and left the Bruins down by two when a three from David Singleton put them up 48-47. Unfortunately, this proved to be UCLA’s last lead of the game.
Down the stretch, Southern Cal tried to put the Bruins away. Soon, their lead was up to eight with 4:52 to go and again with 4:22 left.
But the one thing we’ve learned about this UCLA team is that they seem to be at their best when they have to battle from behind. The team never quits and they always seem to fight.
And, fight like hell they did, especially when the Trojan lead was back up to eight, 65-57, with 41 seconds left. Over the next 24 seconds, they cut Southern Cal’s lead back down to three.
UCLA had several chances in the final 17 seconds to tie the game including a three-point shot at the buzzer from Tyger Campbell. He just couldn’t connect as time expired with the final score: Southern Cal 67, UCLA 64.
Campbell led the Bruins with 27 points while Drew Peterson led the Trojans with the same. Johnny Juzang was the only other Bruin in double figures with 12 points while Myles Johnson was an absolute beast underneath grabbing 11 boards in his first rivalry game.
UCLA now returns home for a three-game homestand against the Washington schools and Arizona State, starting on Thursday when Washington State visits Pauley at 8 pm PT.