Los Angeles, CA – UCLA held a one-point lead with 22 seconds left in overtime when Jaylen Hands drained a deep three as the shot clock expired. The Bruins would go on to defeat USC, 93-88, Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.
“Both teams played well,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “Give them credit. We came out on the short end. We made 19 three’s but the problem is we didn’t get to the foul line.”
UCLA never trailed in overtime, outscoring the Trojans 11-6. USC was down by one point after Bennie Boatwright knocked down his seventh three of the game with 55 seconds remaining but the Trojans failed to score the rest of the way.
“It was a hard-fought game’” Boatwright said. “Today we played well and they played but they got the W. That’s basketball.”
USC began to heat up from beyond the arc, sinking five three-pointers from five different players for a 25-24 lead. UCLA came back to tie it at 38 on Jules Bernard’s jumper with a minute left in the first half. Bernard made a three to give UCLA a 41-38 lead at halftime.
The Bruins utilized a 14-2 run to take a 62-53 lead over USC with 11:48 in the second half. USC stormed back and took a 70-68 lead on a three by Elijah Weaver. His fast-break layup gave the Trojans a one-point advantage with just under three minutes left.
Chris Smith’s jumper tied it at 82 in the final minute. Boatwright missed a potential game-winning three at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Boatwright finished with 25 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Jonah Mathews added 17 points and freshman J’Raan Brooks scored 11 points for USC.
Hands led UCLA with 21 points and 10 assists while Kris Wilkes and Bernard added 16 points each.
Both teams are trying to avoid playing in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament in March. The top four teams in the conference earn a first-round bye. USC and UCLA finish the season on the road.