No. 16 USC Men's Basketball's Comeback Bid Falls Short At No. 17 UCLA, 75-68
LOS ANGELES — Isaiah Mobley scored a team-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting with eight rebounds, but it wasn't enough as No. 16 USC men's basketball fell to rival No. 17 UCLA in Westwood on Saturday despite a late rally.
Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson each contributed 13 points.
The Trojans' historic five-game winning streak over the Bruins came to an end on Saturday. They conclude the regular season with a 25-6 (14-6 Pac-12) record, the most wins ever in one season.
USC will hold the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye at next week's Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament. The Trojans await the winner of six-seed Washington vs. 11-seed Utah in Thursday's quarterfinal round.
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The field for the 2022 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament is set! See you next week at @TMobileArena!
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) March 6, 2022
Down 13 points with 5:49 left in the game, the Trojans attempted a comeback with Mobley scoring eight points on a 12-1 run. The spurt cut the Bruin lead to two points with 1:22 remaining.
Cody Riley hit a fadeaway 13-footer to give UCLA breathing room, but USC had several opportunities to complete the comeback. Max Abgonkpolo stepped out of a bounds prior to a corner 3-point attempt and Reese Dixon Waters' rimmed out on an outside jumper following UCLA's missed free throws that sealed the final result.
Both teams started the game hitting their first four shots. USC went cold near the first half's under-16 timeout, missing its next six attempts on a five-minute scoring drought while UCLA pulled away with an 8-0 run. The Bruins led by 11 points in the first half before USC fought to limit the intermission deficit to 41-35.
Joshua Morgan throws it down for his second straight bucket!
— USC Men's Basketball (@USC_Hoops) March 6, 2022
Early in the second half, the Trojans continued to build momentum and Ellis' four-point play tied of the game at the 15:28 mark. Jaime Jacquez scored 10 points that helped build UCLA's 22-9 stretch midway into the final period.
Jacquez finished with 27 total points on 10-of-16 shooting for the Bruins, which took the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament.
USC and UCLA, which split this year's crosstown rivalry, could play a rubber match at Friday's Pac-12 Tournament semifinals if both teams win their quarterfinal. The Bruins will face the winner of Washington State vs. California on Thursday.