Monday, February 15, 2010
USC completed a season sweep against rival UCLA on Valentine's Day -- but it wasn't easy. While the game last month at Pauley Pavilion was a 21-point blowout this contest went down to the final minute, with the Trojans eeking out a 68-64 win.
Donte Smith came off the bench and energized the crowd with a pair of three point buckets, Dwight Lewis finished with 23 points and Mike Gerrity make key free throws down the stretch.
Marcus Johnson performed well on the defensive end for USC. He finished with five steals including one at half court that finished with a thunderous two-hand dunk that gave the Trojans momentum in the final minutes.
Michael Roll was the biggest contributor for the Bruins, nailing 4 of 10 shots from beyond the arc and finishing with a team-high 21 points. UCLA shot less than 40% but stayed in the game by outrebounding USC by a 36-23 margin.
USC managed to lead by three by halftime. It came employing a full court press starting the second period and maintained it the rest of the way. This was the true game changer. The Bruins' lack of a true point guard really cost them as the pressure resulted in multiple turnovers early and often. For the contest UCLA was picked 11 times and had 20 turnovers overall.
But USC did its best to give away the game late, first by carelessly throwing the ball (including an ill-advised alley-oop attempt) and giving UCLA extra possessions. The Bruins managed to get within four with less four minutes to go before Johnson's memorable steal and dunk.
Then Trojans inexplicably fouled the Bruins late four times in the final forty seconds, including on a three-point attempt. It looked like UCLA for life but it was only for a moment.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Does this big black dude look like a "Nikola Vucevic" to you? If you said no, congratulations you're correct. That's actually Alex Stepheson. Why WeAreSC chose that picture to portray the Trojans' win over the Stanford Cardinal is beyond me.
If you actually click on the column Stepheson is not even mentioned in the game recap.
Well, I guess with USC athletics something's always bizarro; whether it's weird recap pictures, recruiting thirteen year olds or preparing for NCAA sanctions.