USC Basketball "Embarrassed" By UCLA 66-47
The Trojans (5-13, 0-5 Pac-12) fell 66-47 to visiting UCLA (10-7, 3-2 Pac-12) in Sunday's encounter at Galen Center, as the team was held under 50 points for the fourth time in five Pac-12 games.
The loss left USC winless in conference play and sent head coach Kevin O'Neill's team reeling to its sixth consecutive defeat overall. USC shot just 36 percent from the field and conceded the rebounding battle 44-19.
"[UCLA] took the game right to us," O'Neill said. "Particularly on the front line. They beat us on the boards with the two Wear twins and Joshua Smith."
The Bruins' frontcourt of Travis and David Wear combined for 32 points and 15 rebounds, with sophomore Travis accounting for 19 of those points to go with eight rebounds. Bruin guard Lazeric Jones added 15 points and five assists on 6-of-11 shooting from the field.
USC sophomore guard Maurice Jones was the lone Trojan in double figures after finishing with 13 points, but shot just 4-for-13 from the field.
USC won the turnover battle against head coach Ben Howland's team, committing just six to the Bruins' 14, but O'Neill did not seem to find too much consolation in that stat after another listless offensive showing.
"We're struggling to score, obviously," O'Neill said. "That's been one of our problems this season. We don’t turn the ball over, but we don't make enough [shots]."
The closest the Trojans came in the second half was when an Aaron Fuller reverse layup cut the Bruin lead to 50-36 with 7:32 remaining in regulation.
The Trojans shot just 29 percent from the field in the first half and went more than seven minutes without a field goal until a Garrett Jackson layup with 4:15 left ended the drought. UCLA registered 64 percent shooting from the field in the first half and scored 20 points inside the paint.
"We embarrassed ourselves," said USC freshman guard Alexis Moore, who turned in nine points on 4-of-6 shooting. "We did a disservice to the university with how we played. Give UCLA credit. We didn’t match their energy."
The Trojans next travel to face the Oregon Ducks in Eugene, Ore. on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Ducks completed a desert sweep over the weekend with a 59-57 win against Arizona on Saturday. Two days prior to that game, head coach Dana Altman's team pulled out a 67-58 decision over Arizona State.
"Offensively, there's still some things we need to work on, but one thing we have tried to do is remain together as a team," Moore said. "We've got the Oregon schools next week and a lot of games left in Pac-12 play so we have to bounce back."
USC returns to Galen Center on Jan. 26 to host Colorado in a 7:30 p.m. tilt.
Former Trojans guard Harold Miner (1990-1992) had his No. 23 jersey retired during a halftime ceremony.
The two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion split four seasons in the NBA between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1992.
Photos by James Santelli.
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