UCLA 72, USC 69
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Dijon Thompson scored eight of his 24 points in the final 4:45, and UCLA rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to beat Southern California 72-69 Saturday, snapping a four-game losing streak to its crosstown rival.
Thompson, a senior who scored only 12 points combined in disappointing homecourt losses to Stanford and California in UCLA’s previous two games, made two free throws with 56.9 seconds left to snap a 69-69 tie.
After USC committed its 19th and final turnover, Thompson made another foul shot with 16.3 seconds remaining to complete the scoring.
Nick Young missed a 3-pointer that could have tied the game, and UCLA’s Jordan Farmar got the rebound. Farmar missed a foul shot with 5.5 seconds to play, but teammate Michael Fey got the rebound and time expired before the Trojans could foul him.
Josh Shipp had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Bruins. Thompson also had seven rebounds, helping UCLA win the rebounding battle 21-12 in the decisive second half and 36-31 overall.
The Bruins (11-6, 5-4 Pac-10) snapped a three-game losing streak despite committing 21 turnovers—13 in the first half.
Young equaled a career high with 22 points, and also had seven rebounds. Fellow freshman Gabe Pruitt added 19 points for USC (9-11, 2-7).
The Trojans’ four-game winning streak over UCLA was their longest since they beat the Bruins 42 straight times from 1932-43.
UCLA leads the series 120-98.
Thompson’s short jumper gave the Bruins a 69-67 lead, but Gregg Guenther scored from underneath to tie it with 2:16 left.
Thompson, a senior averaging nearly 17 points per game, scored six during a 12-4 UCLA run to start the second half that cut USC’s lead to 47-37.
A follow shot by Thompson capped a 14-2 spurt and gave the Bruins their first lead, 56-54, with 8:11 remaining.
After a three-point play by Derrick Craven gave USC a one-point lead, Arron Afflalo made two 3-pointers to put UCLA on top 62-57. But a 3-pointer by Pruitt and a layup by Guenther tied the game at 62 with 5:28 left.
Neither team led by more than two points after that until Thompson’s final foul shot.
Coming off lackluster performances against Stanford and California, the Bruins came out flat again.
Pruitt scored eight straight points to cap a 12-1 run that gave the Trojans a 19-7 lead before Farmar made two free throws for his only points of the first half.
The Bruins had two field goals in the first 2:03, but didn’t make another until Thompson’s short jumper with 7:12 left in the half cut USC’s lead to 21-13. The only reason it was that close was because the Trojans had a dry spell lasting more than 4 1/2 minutes.
UCLA drew within five points by making five foul shots. It was 28-23 when Lodrick Stewart made a 3-pointer to trigger a 15-2 run in the last 3:06 of the half, giving the Trojans a 43-25 lead. Pruitt and Young each had three-point plays following steals during the spurt.
The Bruins shot 6-of-22 in the first half and 16-of-28 in the second. The Trojans shot 17-of-32 in the first half and 11-of-30 after that.
Stewart, USC’s leading scorer, was held to five points.