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UCLA Edged by USC, 64-63, in Regular-Season Finale

Mar 6, 2021
Jules Bernard (photo by Don Liebig)

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LOS ANGELES – USC's Tahj Eaddy nailed a game-winning 3-point basket with 1.4 seconds to play on Saturday, as UCLA dropped a 64-63 decision to the Trojans in the regular-season finale for both teams in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom.
UCLA (17-8, 13-6) led the Trojans (21-6, 15-5) from the start and built a 61-53 cushion with five minutes to play in the second half. USC outscored the Bruins, 9-2, over the game's final four minutes to secure the victory.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. finished with 12 points, Jules Bernard and David Singleton totaled 11, and Cody Riley had 10.
USC's Evan Mobley recorded team highs for the Trojans with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Eaddy finished the contest with 12 points and a pair of steals.
"At some point, you can't keep repeating some of the same mistakes with some of the turnovers and breakdowns we're having," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "They shot 52 percent after the break – 40 percent from three and 52 [percent] after the break. Doesn't matter, it doesn't matter if you play great in the first half. It doesn't matter if you play great for 35 minutes, it doesn't matter if you play great for 39 minutes. You are what your record says you are. You play to win the game."

Coach Cronin, Postgame | Jaquez Jr. and Bernard, Postgame
In a close finish, USC had reduced UCLA's cushion to 61-60 at the 2:38 mark on a 3-point basket by Drew Peterson. Riley helped the Bruins take a 63-60 lead on a jump shot with just under two minutes to play.
USC cut UCLA's advantage to 63-61 after Chevez Goodwin made one of two free throws with 19 seconds left in the contest. Bernard drew a foul on Evan Mobley and missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity with 11 seconds remaining.
USC gained possession, dribbled the length of the court and a jump ball situation resulted in the Trojans getting the ball with 3.7 seconds left under their basket. USC found Eaddy in the corner, and he nailed the game-winning shot with just 1.4 seconds remaining. UCLA's desperation half-court heave by Bernard was unsuccessful.
UCLA had entered the locker room at halftime with a 36-25 lead. The Bruins shot 60 percent from the field (15 for 25) in the first half.
The Bruins will return to action at the Pac-12 Tournament next Thursday afternoon as the No. 4 seed. UCLA will take on No. 5-seed Oregon State at 2:30 p.m. (PT) in a matchup that will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.