USC senior Aliyah Mazyck had a season-high 26 points, including five three-pointers, Minyon Moore added 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to give Southern California a 72-67 victory over crosstown rivals UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday.
“This was my last USC-UCLA game,” said Mazyck. “Our pride was on the line. It’s hard to be positive when you’ve been losing, but we stayed positive today and got positive results.”
“It feels great to win, just to win a game in conference. I hope it starts up some more wins for us.”
The Trojans (11-6, 1-5) snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory and earned their first conference win, while the Bruins (9-9, 2-4) dropped to 2-4 in Pac-12 play.
“Our kids finally worked hard and put 40 minutes together and made some big shots. We got some great leadership… all that’s been a work in progress,” USC coach Mark Trakh said. “But if we play like this, we’re gonna be competitive.”
The Trojans were persistent defensively and forced the Bruins into 16 turnovers, which resulted in 24 points for USC.
“We put an emphasis to play the whole game like the score was 0-0,” Moore said. “When we had our big lead in the second half, we knew they’d make a run, but we stuck together.”
USC held a 32-30 lead at halftime and constantly put pressure on the Bruins guards. UCLA had seven turnovers alone in the third quarter and were outscored 19-12 going into the fourth, 51-42.
“Give credit to USC, they played very hard,” said UCLA head coach Cori Close. “They made it hard for us to get clean touches. They executed their game plan very well.”
Michaela Onyenwere led UCLA with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Lindsey Corsaro added 15 points, on a perfect 5-5 from three-point distance. 12 of Onyenwere’s points came in the fourth quarter, instilling life in her Bruins team.
However, the Trojans ultimately drained 16 of 22 free throws and seven alone in the fourth quarter to put the game away. UCLA outrebounded USC (38-33), but only tallied five steals compared to the Trojans eight.
“[USC] did a great job of making adjustments from the last time that we played them,” Onyenwere said. “It was a little bit different, a little bit tougher to get touches in the post.”
Up next, both Los Angeles teams will travel to Arizona for a slate of Pac-12 games starting on Friday. UCLA will face No.16 Arizona State at 10:00 a.m., while USC will play Arizona at 6:00 p.m.