Jan. 30, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Norman Powell (4) steals the ball from USC Trojans forward Aaron Fuller (21) during the first half at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA-USC Crosstown Rivalry: Basketball Edition, Part 2: A Tale Of The Tape

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UCLA BRUINS vs. USC TROJANS

PLACE: Galen Center, USC Campus, Los Angeles, CA.

DAY/DATE/TIME:  Sunday, February 24, 2013, 12:30 p.m.

TV:  Fox Sports Net

ALL-TIME SERIES:  UCLA leads, 132-105

LAST MEETING:  USC won in overtime at Pauley Pavilion on January 30, 75-71

RECORDS:

UCLA:  19-7, 9-4 in the Pac-12 Conference (third place), won three out of their last four after losing three of their previous four.

USC:  12-14, 7-6 in the Pac-12 Conference (tied for sixth place), won four out of their last five, including four straight before a 76-68 loss to California in their last game.

LEADING SCORERS:

UCLA: Shabazz Muhammad, 18.5 points per game

USC:  Eric Wise, 12 points per game

LEADING REBOUNDERS:

UCLA:  Kyle Anderson, 8.8 rebounds per game

USC:  Dewayne Dedmon, 6.8 rebounds per game

MY ANALYSIS/THOUGHTS:

Although the Bruins have the better overall record and statistics, the Trojans have been a team that has played as good a basketball as anyone in the conference, using their win over UCLA to launch a four-game winning streak and catapult their way into the Pac-12 race.

Bob Cantu, who was appointed interim coach after Kevin O’Neill was fired on January 14, is a big reason for ‘SC’s resurgence as he turned the team loose after O’Neill’s firing and has simply let them play. Cantu’s record as the Trojan coach is currently 5-4, but that’s misleading as USC has played extremely well in beating the Washington schools and Stanford along with UCLA, and except for their last game in Berkeley has been a hot commodity.

Combined with the fact that the Trojans have a fairly big edge in size up front, showing it by dominating the Bruins on the boards and doing whatever they wanted in the paint the last time the two teams faced each other, and that this upcoming game is at their house in Galen Center, in front of what promises to be a large, vocal, and hostile group of their students and fans, as the UCLA game always draws the best attendance at Galen…

That spells a big challenge for Ben Howland’s team, the key for them being to rebound and score in the key much better than they did last time.

Else with the support of the “Trojan Family”, the result could well be a carbon copy of the January 30 contest.

One factor in UCLA’s favor is, like in all rivalry games, one cannot really predict what will happen as, in the grand tradition of cliches, anything can happen when rivals get together.

That’s why I won’t predict a winner or a final score for this Crosstown Clash.

However, I do predict that the Bruins will be extremely motivated, as well as inspired by how in the past few days their men’s volleyball and female basketball counterparts manhandled USC’s volleyball and women’s hoops teams on the same Galen Center floor that they will be playing on this Sunday.

Will that be enough of a push for UCLA to overcome the Trojans’ advantage up front and get their revenge for what happened in Pauley?

The only way to find out is to tune in to Fox Sports Net –  before settling down to watch the Academy Awards later that evening – and see…

Let’s hear from you, L.A. Sports Hubbers – How do you see this latest hoops version of the Crosstown Clash unfolding?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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