USC senior guard Boogie Ellis scored a career-high of 31 points to help conquer the nationally-ranked UCLA Bruins Men’s basketball team 77-64.
Trojans head coach Andy Enfield noted how it was a “special game.”
“We started to isolate [Ellis], we tried to set ball screens and get him on some of the defenders that we thought he could attack,” Enfield said. “He did a nice job of making the right decisions and made a couple of big, big shots for us.”
Trojans sophomore Kobe Johnson led with five rebounds. Bruins senior Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 15 points and eight rebounds.
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The Trojans kept the Bruins from the paint in the early minutes, but free throws kept the Bruins in the game. UCLA was slow to find their shot from behind the arc, but it became an asset once they found it.
With 3:59 left in the first half, the Bruins went on a 10-point run. By the half, UCLA produced six three-pointers; three coming from guard David Singleton.
The Bruins scored 12 points from the Trojans’ turnovers and earned 10 second-chance points. Senior guard Tyger Campbell led all scorers with 10 points at that point.
USC senior guard Boogie Ellis hit a career high of 31 points against the Bruins. The Trojans won 77-64 pic.twitter.com/l14TenlJhc
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The Trojans went into halftime with a 12-point deficit. Ellis and senior guard Drew Peterson kept their teammates encouraged.
“Me and [Peterson] told the guys that we’ve been in this position before, we’re the leaders so we told them we can’t panic,” Ellis said. “Me and [Peterson], we played in big games, we played in big atmospheres. It’s really our job to calm the team down.”
Peterson ignited a 7-1 run that lasted for one regulated minute. The Bruins lost their shooting accuracy, causing their scoring to slow down. UCLA missed five shots in the first five minutes of the second half, allowing the Trojans to close their deficit.
With 12:18 left in regulation, Ellis intercepted a bad pass from Campbell and fed it to St. Bernard alum Reese Dixon-Waters for a fast break score to give USC the lead. The Trojans maintained a solid rhythm from downtown and made an eight-point run.
USC ultimately sank 10 three-pointers, shooting at 45.5 percent from behind the arc.
“What was good about tonight is we started attacking miss matches very well,” Peterson said. “We haven’t shot the ball totally well as a team. When we hit 10 threes … we’re a really hard team to beat.”
UCLA was 8-27 from the field in the second half. Their fouls sent the Trojans to the free-throw line, where they were 16 of 16.
Peterson contributed 16 points and four rebounds; Johnson made 10 points, five assists and three steals. Campbell scored 14 points, seven assists, and two steals; Singleton scored 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Our guys did an amazing job in the second half, being down 12 at halftime coming out with a lot of fire,” Enfield said. “I thought the key was to get back in the game pretty quickly, which we did and we just defended and try to rebound the best we could.”
The Trojans will battle Washington State on February 2 at 8:00P.M. UCLA will host Washington on February 2 at 6:00P.M.