Bruins Fall To USC, 86-85
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - Errick Craven converted two free throws with 4.4 secondsremaining to give USC an 86-85 victory over UCLA, which gotswept by its crosstown rivals for the first time since 1992 and extended itslosing streak to nine games.
Jon Crispin took an inbounds pass from Jason Kapono and tossed up a3-pointer that hit the glass to the left of the basket as time expired, keepingthe Bruins mired in their worst losing skid since 1940-41 when they lost 10 ina row.
USC fans broke into a derogatory chant as the Bruins filed off the LosAngeles Sports Arena court.
Desmon Farmer scored 28 points, including nine straight in the final 3:47,for the Trojans (9-9, 5-5 Pac-10). Craven added 19 points, Rory O'Neil had 12points and Craven's twin brother, Derrick, had 11.
The Trojans were responsible for launching UCLA's losing streak, which beganwhen the Bruins lost 80-75 in the first matchup Jan. 8 at Pauley Pavilion.
Dijon Thompson scored a career-high 25 points for UCLA (4-13), whichremained in ninth place in the Pac-10 at 2-8. The loss put the Bruins ingreater danger of failing to qualify for the conference tournament, which takesthe top eight teams.
More significantly, the Bruins will have to win their final nineregular-season games as well as the Pac-10 tournament to assure the school ofits 55th consecutive winning season.
Both teams came into the rivalry game with losing records for the first timesince 1988, but each side was emotionally charged throughout.
Neither team led by more than one point for much of the final 3:47. LikeFarmer, Thompson was the go-to player for his team, scoring eight of UCLA'sfinal 10 points.
USC built its first major lead of the game, 57-48, with an 8-0 run,including six points by Errick Craven, who split defenders for a layup thatcapped the spurt.
Derrick Craven hit a 3-pointer, made a free throw and Farmer added a3-pointer as the Trojans led 66-56 with 8:14 left.
UCLA took only its second lead of the half, 75-73, on another 3-pointer byWalcott before Farmer hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game. The teamstraded baskets until Thompson scored and got fouled seconds later, making bothfree throws for an 85-82 lead with 58 seconds left.
Derrick Craven scored to draw the Trojans within one. T.J. Cummings missedas the shot clock expired and then Walcott fouled Errick Craven, who made bothto give USC an 86-85 lead with 4.4 seconds left.
The Trojans called two consecutive timeouts before Kapono inbounded the ballto Crispin, who dribbled to the top of the key and let a 3-pointer fly.
UCLA led 36-34 at halftime. The Trojans shot only 34 percent in the firsthalf and were outscored 20-10 in the paint.
UCLA's Cedric Bozeman sprained his right shoulder at 3:33 of the first half.He returned to start the second half, but wasn't a factor.