Boogie Ellis scores 31, leads USC over No. 8 UCLA
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Boogie Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half, leading a 27-6 run that put the Trojans ahead for good, and Southern California defeated No. 8 UCLA 77-64 on Thursday night.
Three weeks ago, the Bruins eked out a 60-58 win after blowing an 18-point lead in front of their home fans.
This time, UCLA led by 12 in the first half only to watch Ellis put on a show after he scored four points and went 0-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half.
Drew Peterson added 16 points for the Trojans (15-6, 7-3 Pac-12). They improved to 10-1 at home this season, having won 10 straight at Galen Center since dropping their season opener to Florida Gulf Coast.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 15 points and David Singleton and Tyger Campbell added 14 points each for the Bruins (17-4, 8-2). The loss was just the second time this season they've dropped two in a row.
USC roared out of halftime, overcoming a 12-point deficit and surging to take a 52-43 lead. Ellis stole the ball and fed Reese Dixon-Waters for the go-ahead layup. Ellis followed with a 3-pointer and Kobe Johnson also made a 3, getting raucous fans on their feet. Peterson capped the spurt with a dunk.
The Trojans’ defense harassed the Bruins into turnovers and misses. UCLA was limited to two baskets and a free throw over the first 10 minutes.
Ellis kept pouring it on. He sidestepped a flying Campbell to hit an open jumper and later made his third 3-pointer in the half. Ellis sank all eight of his free throws.
UCLA got within two twice in the final five minutes but couldn't stop Ellis.
The Trojans raced to a 12-6 lead to open the game, their largest of the half. The Bruins ran off 11 straight points, getting back-to-back 3-pointers by Jaquez and Singleton, to go up 20-14.
The Trojans closed within one before UCLA ended the half on a 17-6 spurt to lead 37-25 at the break. Their run included 10 straight points, with Singleton and Campbell making 3-pointers.
UCLA: The pressure of their 14-game winning streak ended in the Arizona desert last week with a 58-52 loss to the Wildcats. Now at the halfway point of the Pac-12 schedule, the Bruins play six of their remaining 10 games at home. Their toughest opponent left is No. 6 Arizona to close out the regular season.
USC: Things continue looking up for 7-foot-1 freshman Vincent Iwuchukwu. He played in his fifth game of the season after returning to limited practice in December. Last July, Iwuchukwu suffered cardiac arrest during a team workout. He had a career-high 12 points and five rebounds at Arizona State last weekend. Against the Bruins he had six points in 17 minutes.
UCLA: Hosts Washington on Feb. 2.
USC: Hosts Washington State on Feb. 2.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll