Bruins Tripped Up at USC, 66-48
LOS ANGELES – The No. 21-ranked UCLA men's basketball team absorbed a 66-48 loss to USC in a Pac-12 contest at the Galen Center on Saturday night.
Johnny Juzang registered his first career double-double, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds for UCLA (13-4, 9-2 Pac-12).
The Bruins also received eight points, five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots from freshman Mac Etienne, who made his collegiate debut after having enrolled at UCLA for the start of the 2021 winter quarter. Etienne, who hails from New York, N.Y., made 4 of 5 shots in 28 minutes off the bench.
USC (15-3, 9-2 Pac-12) received a team-best 19 points from Ethan Anderson, who made 5 of 7 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. Tahj Eaddy had 16 points and Evan Mobley finished the game with nine points.
UCLA's frontcourt was without Cody Riley (right ankle) and Jalen Hill (personal reasons), providing an opportunity for Etienne and the first collegiate start for Kenneth Nwuba.
"The guys gave everything they had," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "We defended and kept our effort up in spite of abysmal shooting. That says a lot about our guys. I told them we've got to practice – I didn't even want them looking at the scoreboard. This isn't the NCAA Tournament. If we get a chance to get to the tournament, to stay alive you're probably going to have to make a comeback, so we got to practice right now, doing it."
The Trojans pulled away late in the first half, closing with a 13-4 scoring run that was capped by a 3-pointer from Eaddy. UCLA's Jake Kyman scored five points in the first half, but the Bruins shot just 31 percent from the floor (including 2 of 9 from 3-point distance).
Juzang did most of his damage in the second half, recording 11 points and nine rebounds after the intermission. He converted on an old-fashioned 3-point play at the 13:11 mark of the second half to bring the Bruins within seven points. The Bruins were unable to get any closer. Anderson hit a 3-pointer on the following possession and USC kept its lead in double-digits the rest of the contest.
UCLA's Tyger Campbell also scored five of his seven points during the second half.
UCLA will play a pair of road games in the Pacific Northwest next week. The Bruins are scheduled to face Washington State on Thursday (Feb. 11). Game time is 8 p.m. (PT). UCLA's game at Washington State will be televised by FS1 (Fox Sports 1).
The Bruins will play at Washington on Saturday, Feb. 13. Game time in Seattle is set for 4:30 p.m. (TV: Pac-12 Networks).