Bruins Sink Trojans, 56-46
Feb. 17, 2008
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 10 points and 10 rebounds in his return after missing two games because of a sprained left ankle. Love grabbed 11 rebounds for his 15th double-double.
The Bruins (22-3, 10-2) maintained their narrow conference lead over No. 7 Stanford.
Taj Gibson had 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting and 12 rebounds to lead the Trojans (15-9, 6-6), denied their first sweep in the crosstown rivalry since 2003-04.
Dwight Lewis added 16 points. Mayo finished with four, taking just eight shots, nine rebounds and 10 turnovers in what might have been the final college game between him and fellow freshman phenom Love.
The Bruins avenged last month's 72-63 upset loss in Westwood in an emotionally charged game that featured a combined 32 turnovers and poor shooting by both teams over the final 6:22.
Love grabbed the last rebound and hung onto the ball for the final seven seconds. A grinning Collison stuck out his tongue at Love and they hugged as time expired.
USC was without starting guard Daniel Hackett, whose season is in jeopardy because of a stress fracture in his lower back and a torn oblique muscle.
His absence forced coach Tim Floyd to shorten his bench and he used just one sub, Keith Wilkinson, the entire game. As a result, some of the starters appeared winded midway through the second half.
The Trojans never led by more than one point in the first half, when they shot 48 percent. The Bruins outscored them 17-8 to end the half ahead 31-23 despite shooting 37 percent from the floor.
Gibson scored USC's first six points of the second half and Lewis added a basket to pull within four. But the Bruins used a 10-2 run to extend their lead to 45-33 with 11 1/2 minutes remaining. Love scored five consecutive points and Collison completed a three-point play in the spurt.
Gibson's two free throws again drew the Trojans within four before both teams went into a shooting funk that kept USC from making a run.
The Trojans wore black uniforms and a majority of fans donned black as part of a 'Black Out the Bruins' promotion.