The streak is about.
It endured a noisy demise Saturday night time at Pauley Pavilion, UCLA lovers roaring in the last seconds of a breakthrough victory more than USC. Jaime Jaquez Jr., the major Bruins protagonist, turned and pointed both equally fingers at the university student part and Jaylen Clark sprinted around to celebrate with his classmates.
With just one determined minimal-article transfer after one more, Jaquez nudged No. 16 UCLA towards a extended-awaited 75-68 triumph just before a sellout crowd. Keeping intense from the game’s opening times, the junior guard scored 27 details when building 10 of 16 pictures to assist bury a regrettable chunk of Bruins record.
The end result finished far more 3 years of rivalry angst — 5 consecutive Bruins losses, two Trojans buzzer-beaters and countless ribbing from across town. It also place to rest any speak about how UCLA mentor Mick Cronin could not defeat USC counterpart Andy Enfield after beginning -5 in head-to-head matchups.
None of that matters now.
The Bruins finally prevailed right after committing just a person turnover, their fewest for any match on record, whilst forcing 15.
“The difference in the video game,” reported Cronin, who was nevertheless grumpy over his team’s failure to complete the recreation cleanly amid a sequence of vacant belongings.
Down by 11 points with five minutes remaining, the No. 17 Trojans put themselves on the verge of an additional improbable complete. They pulled to inside of 70-68 with 1:22 to go after Isaiah Mobley designed a layup and was fouled, building the free of charge toss to total the a few-place participate in.
“I just held telling the guys, ‘Believe, feel, feel,” mentioned Mobley, who concluded with a crew-high 20 factors. “That’s all you can do.”
UCLA’s Cody Riley created a turnaround jumper in the lane, extending his team’s benefit to 4 factors, right before Mobley skipped a brief jump hook and teammate Max Agbonkpolo stepped out of bounds with 30 seconds left, appearing to seal the Trojans’ destiny.
But UCLA guard Johnny Juzang, obviously out of rhythm in his return from an ankle harm that experienced sidelined him the earlier 2½ games, offered an opening by missing two free throws. USC guard Reese Dixon-Waters misfired on a a few-pointer right before UCLA’s Jules Bernard created sufficient free throws about the remaining seconds to give UCLA its 1st victory in the collection due to the fact February 2019.
“I was just like, oh my God, we can’t permit this one particular slip absent appropriate now,” claimed Jaquez, who has scored 57 points about his very last two game titles although showing up completely recovered from his bothersome ankles. “We set a great deal of work heading back again down on the defensive end and performing every little thing we could to get a cease.”
Enjoying with a disgruntled edge, the Bruins (23-6 overall, 15-5 Pac-12) secured 2nd place in the conference standings guiding winner Arizona to go with the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 event that begins following 7 days. The Trojans (25-6, 14-6) will be the No. 3 seed.
Just after becoming honored along with fellow seniors Riley and David Singleton in advance of the match, Bernard concluded with 19 details in what could have been his final house sport.
Jaquez carried his team midway by means of the 2nd 50 percent. He designed a soar hook, buried a person jumper and then one more in advance of discovering Bernard for a 3-pointer that lifted the Bruins into a 62-54 direct with 10 minutes still left.
A couple minutes before, right after USC had briefly pulled into a tie, Jaquez responded in emphatic style, driving from the perimeter for a just one-handed dunk that sparked a different operate.
“He produced some tough ones,” Mobley stated. “Part of that, I was guarding [him]. That is on me. I choose accountability for it. But you start off helping on Jaime, Jules hits a corner 3. You tip your hat to them for making some challenging ones and the open types.”
The Trojans could not get a solid sequel out of Drew Peterson pursuing his 27-level hard work in opposition to UCLA previous month at the Galen Middle. Peterson scored 13 points this time, generating four of 9 shots whilst defended by a variety of Bruins.
Some had questioned regardless of whether Jaquez could maintain his current scoring surge that incorporated a career-superior 30 points towards Washington even though likely towards a staff like the Trojans that highlighted outstanding duration and athleticism. Jaquez answered with 13 points by halftime though frequently attacking Mobley and generating four of 5 shots to thrill the crowd of 13,659.
UCLA’s soccer team joined in on the entertaining in the course of a timeout late in the initial fifty percent when it rolled out the Victory Bell it had secured with a 62-33 beatdown more than the Trojans in November. Football players joyfully rang the bell and hurled T-shirts into the crowd.
This seemed like it could possibly become a similar runaway when Juzang scored on a putback to put the Bruins up by 11 factors ahead of the Trojans, who have been so hard to set absent just lately, rallied to power the late drama.
In the end, the Bruins bought it completed, experiencing them selves and the rivalry as soon as far more.