UCLA Basketball Wins at USC, 83-66
The Bruins (11-7, 3-2 Pac-12) won their third consecutive game after stumbling through a five-game skid at the end of last year and into the new year.
Powell finished his career with a 4-0 record against USC in its home building, becoming the first Bruin to do so since Toby Bailey, who led UCLA to four consecutive victories at USC from 1995-98.
"I couldn’t ask for a better ending," Powell told reporters after Wednesday’s win.
UCLA registered its fourth consecutive win over USC and its eighth victory in the last nine games in the crosstown rivalry.
"When we got back from Utah and Colorado, we really challenged our guys with a nine day, three win mission," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "That’s not easy when you’ve lost five in a row. These guys have really played hard, and they’ve stuck together."
UCLA dominated the boards, 41-20, and outscored the host Trojans by a 46-30 margin in the paint.
Nikola Jovanovic scored 20 points for USC (9-8, 1-4 Pac-12), who also received double-figure scoring efforts from Darion Clark (11 points), Katin Reinhardt (10 points) and Malik Marquetti (10 points).
Bryce Alford made 8 of 14 shots for the Bruins, including 5 of 8 field goals from 3-point range. Alford finished with 15 of his 21 points in the second half. <P. "I really had the confidence that every one was going in," Alford said. "It’s been a while, probably the best that I’ve felt."
The Bruins led for most of the game and never trailed after securing a 32-31 with 2:03 left in the first half. Leading 36-31 at halftime, UCLA used a 15-2 scoring run to open the second half and push its margin to as many as 18 points (51-33) with 15:05 left in the game.
USC reduced UCLA’s advantage to nine points at the 7:59 and 7:06 marks, before the Bruins answered with two-point baskets each time. UCLA’s lead never fell to fewer than 12 points in the game’s final five minutes.
Wednesday night’s win helped UCLA improve to 7-2 at Galen Center since USC opened its arena prior to the 2006-07 season.
UCLA will return to action at Oregon State on Thursday, Jan. 22. Game time at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore., is 6 p.m. (PT).