56 - 46 Final
  for this game

Love propels UCLA past rival USC

Feb 18, 2008 - 7:11 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Despite a poor shooting performance, sixth-ranked UCLA was still able to defeat its biggest rival.

Freshman Kevin Love scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Bruins to a 56-46 victory over Southern California in a Pac-10 Conference battle Sunday.

Darren Collison finished with 14 points and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 10 points and 10 rebounds after missing the previous two games with a sprained left ankle for UCLA (22-3, 10-2 Pac-10), which shot just 33 percent (21-of-62) from the field.

"Luc was a huge boost for us even though he's not at full strength," Bruins coach Ben Howland said.

The Bruins made up for their poor shooting by playing stout defense and dominating the boards in avenging a home loss to USC on January 19.

The Trojans (15-9, 6-6) struggled mightily from the floor late in the second half, failing to make a field goal for nearly eight minutes. Dwight Lewis knocked down a 3-pointer with 8:39 left to play to cut the deficit to 46-40, but USC did not score again until Lewis hit a jump shot with 41 ticks remaining.

The sophomore guard, who finished with 16 points, was the only Trojan to make a field in the final 11 minutes of the contests.

UCLA also did an excellent job containing freshman phenom O.J. Mayo. The 20-year-old guard scored just four points on 2-of-9 shooting with 10 rebounds.

"Russell (Westbrook) did a great job on Mayo, one of the best players in the country," Howland said.

"They did a good job with Westbrook on O.J. He had his struggles," USC coach Tim Floyd said. "I'm sure there were some plays he'd like back. O.J. was probably not 100 percent, but we're not using injuries as an excuse."

Mayo, who strained his left groin in practice Wednesday, also committed 10 of USC's 22 turnovers on the night.

"O.J. is a great player and to force him into 10 turnovers is pretty monumental," Love said.

In addition, the Trojans struggled to get to the free-throw line. They did not get an attempt until there was 6:36 left in the game and finished 4-of-6 from the line.

The Bruins collected 19 offensive rebounds to just five for the Trojans.

Taj Gibson had 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for USC, which has lost two in a row.

USC played without guard Daniel Hackett, who could be out for the season after suffering a stress fracture in his lower back and a torn oblique muscle on February 9.

"It's tough to sit on the sideline and watch," Hackett said. "Guys were tired out there. It's tough when you play six guys. They had fresh bodies coming in every two or three minutes."

    --- --- -----
    UCLA (6) 31 25 56
    USC 23 23 46 FINAL

    Feb 18 12:01 AM

    (6) UCLA 31

    Feb 17 10:50 PM