Maybe Andy Enfield, USC’s new basketball coach, should be careful with his words the next time he faces his crosstown rival.
After his remarks about going to UCLA if you want to play slow, I’ll bet anything that the Bruins had that quote on their bulletin board and used that as one of their motivation factors, because…
After the Trojans’ Omar Oraby made the game’s first basket, Steve Alford’s team made like Sitting Bull and his Sioux tribe decimating George Custer’s troops in the Battle of the Little Big Horn as UCLA tied the record for most points scored against USC with their 107-73 beat down on Sunday.
It was the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
A crowd of 11,285 at Pauley Pavilion – easily the largest to date in that arena this season – witnessed the massacre with what I’m sure was complete glee, the chant “Just Like Football!” , commemorating the Bruins’ win over ‘SC in the Coliseum a few weeks earlier, being heard loud and clear toward the end.
The contest was essentially over at halftime as UCLA (12-2, 1-0 in the Pac-12) built a 22-point lead, which only grew in the tradition of “Leave No Doubt” in the second half as the Bruins shot 57.7 % for the game.
When asked if there were any positives that he saw in this woodshed spanking, Enfield simply replied, “None…UCLA shot the ball really well and that seemed to rattle us.”
“…sadly, this is my worst experience against them,” Trojan guard Byron Wesley added.
Three Bruins scored at least 20 points, led by Kyle Anderson‘s 23 on ten-of-14 shooting and 12 rebounds, which likewise led everyone.
Jordan Adams and Bryce Alford got in on the twenty-something point party as well as Adams scored 21, which included making five of eight shots from three-point land. Alford, the coach’s son, contributed four baskets from behind the arc as part of his 20 points.
Zach LaVine got in on the fun as well with his 18 points.
“We thought (USC) would like to run. We thought they liked to play fast. That’s the way we like to play,” the Bruins’ coach Alford commented afterward, indicating that the Trojans played right into UCLA’s strength.
Meanwhile for the now 9-5 Trojans (0-1 in the Pac-12), Wesley was the only real standout as he led USC with 21 points.
Two other players reached double digits in scorring – J.T. Terrell with 14 and Julian Jacobs with ten – but ‘SC clearly missed Oraby as the center not only left the game with a hurt ankle in the first half, he was ineffective when he returned in the second as he fouled out with more than seven minutes left.
It was such an enjoyable day for the Bruins that the only negative was that Kory Alford, Bryce’s brother, missed a free throw near the end of the game that would have broken UCLA’s record, set in 1966, for the most number of points ever scored against USC.
Not that it mattered too much as the Bruins now prepare for a huge showdown this Thursday night against the top-ranked team in the country, a 15-0 Arizona Wildcat squad that’s off to its best start since 1931, when they won their first 16 games.
Plus they will be looking for some payback for UCLA beating them not once, not twice, but THREE times last season.
I will be very surprised if there is not a significantly large crowd at Pauley Pavilion for that game.
And while this was certainly a great win over a hated rival – as all UCLA wins over USC are – there will be a next time as the Trojans will try and get revenge on their home court at the Galen Center on February 8.