UCLA Tops Rival USC

Jan. 11, 2001

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jason Kapono scored 20 points and Earl Watson added 17 asUCLA defeated No. 19 Southern California 80-75 Thursday night in a highlycharged game that knocked the Trojans from a share of first place in thePac-10.

The Bruins (8-4) won their fourth straight and maintained a share of firstplace in the conference with No. 1 Stanford at 3-0.

It was also the 99th career victory for coach Steve Lavin, who was tauntedby USC fans shouting Rick Pitino's name. UCLA athletic director Peter Dalis hasspoken twice to Pitino in the last month, although Dalis said the conversationsdidn't involve Lavin's job.

The Trojans (12-3, 2-1) had their three-game winning streak snapped and losttheir eighth straight at Pauley Pavilion, where they last won in 1993.

USC's Sam Clancy tied his career-high with 31 points. He grabbed a keyrebound - his 13th - in the closing seconds and passed to David Bluthenthal,who had a 3-point attempt blocked that would've tied the game.

It was the first time in 39 years that the teams met when USC was ranked andUCLA wasn't. On Feb. 2, 1962, the unranked Bruins upset No. 5 USC 73-59 at theSports Arena.

After a helter-skelter first half, in which only UCLA held a double-digitlead once, the Bruins found some breathing room at the start of the secondhalf.

After Clancy scored to get the Trojans within five, the Bruins outscored USC18-6 to take a 64-45 lead with 14 minutes remaining. Watson had six points,including a steal and layup, even as he picked up his fourth foul and Kaponoearned two quick fouls.

A 3-pointer by Kapono provided UCLA's largest lead, 71-52, with 11:03 toplay. But the Bruins' shooting touch disappeared, and the Trojans worked theirway back.

USC used a 17-3 spurt to close within five with 4:03 left. Clancy scored 11points, including three dunks, while Gadzuric tossed up an airball and anothermiss at UCLA's end.

Despite back-to-back turnovers, the Trojans closed to 74-70 on a free throwby Brandon Granville.

After Watson was fouled and hit two free throws, Bluthenthal hit a 3-pointerin front of USC's bench to make it 76-73 with 32 seconds left. He then stolethe ball, but Brian Scalabrine's pass to Granville went out of bounds.

Gadzuric scored inside for a 78-73 lead before Clancy's basket again drewthe Trojans within three with 32 seconds left. Clancy rebounded a miss byScalabrine and fed Bluthenthal, who had his shot blocked.

Although the Trojans controlled the boards, 43-30, they committed 28turnovers in front of a rowdy crowd of 12,109.

The game got off to a rocky start with five fouls in the first 1:21. CentersGadzuric and Scalabrine were hit with double technicals for shoving before theteams lined up to shoot free throws.

That was Gadzuric's second foul and he went to the bench until 8:12 when hereturned and picked up his third foul 32 seconds later. His absence in themiddle allowed USC to control the boards, 24-14, in the first half.

Watson was called for an intentional foul on Bluthenthal, who responded bytaunting Watson. That earned Bluthenthal a technical.

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