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WOMENS BASKETBALL


UCLA 71, Southern Cal 64

UCLA 71, Southern Cal 64

BY JOE REEDY
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES - Londynn Jones scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and second-ranked UCLA defeated No. 6 USC 71-64 in a battle of unbeaten crosstown rivals, despite 27 points and 11 rebounds from JuJu Watkins at a sold out Pauley Pavilion.

Lauren Betts had 15 points and eight rebounds while Kiki Rice scored 12 for the Bruins (12-0, 1-0 Pac-12), who beat the Trojans for the ninth straight time.

The game was attended by 13,659 fans, breaking the UCLA women’s basketball single-game mark. Among those in attendance were Clippers star Russell Westbrook, former NBA star Baron Davis and Las Vegas Aces GM Natalie Williams, all former UCLA standouts.

Watkins came in making 49.4% from the field, but was 7 of 24 for the worst-shooting game of her brief college career. She missed her first four from the field and had one stretch late in the second quarter and part of the third where she missed eight of nine.

McKenzie Forbes scored 23 for the Trojans (10-1, 0-1) and Rayah Marshall pulled down 14 rebounds.

It was the first ranked matchup between the rivals since 1985 and the first since March 1981 where both have been in the top 10.

Rice’s layup gave UCLA a 56-46 lead late in the third quarter before the Trojans went on a 13-4 run. A 3-pointer by Watkins with 6:46 remaining got them within 60-59 but UCLA went on an 8-2 spurt to get some breathing room, including a pair of 3-pointers by Jones.

UCLA jumped out to a 14-2 lead to start the game, only to see the Trojans score the final nine points of the quarter.

A jumper by Watkins with 1:47 remaining in the quarter was USC’s first made shot from the field. That started a run where she scored 12 of the Trojans’ next 15 points, including a 3-pointer off a fast break with 7:54 remaining in the second quarter to give them a 17-15 advantage.

There would be nine more lead changes and six ties in the quarter before Angela Dugalic’s 3-pointer with 37 seconds gave the Bruins a 38-37 halftime lead.

THE TAKEAWAY

USC: The Trojans got off to slow shooting starts to begin both halves. They missed their first nine shots to begin the game and were 1 of 11 to start the second half.

UCLA: The Bruins are 4-0 against ranked teams this season, including a pair of victories over top 10 programs for the second time in four years.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

UCLA athletics press release

December 30, 2023





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