Collison, Dragovic lead UCLA past USCJan 12, 2009 - 7:20 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Darren Collison scored 18 points and Nikola Dragovic added a career-high 14 as No. 7 UCLA remained perfect in the Pac-10 Conference with a 64-60 victory over Southern California on Sunday.
Freshman Jrue Holiday chipped in 13 points for the Bruins (13-2, 3-0 Pac-10), who won their ninth straight game.
UCLA led by two at the break, but USC made five consecutive baskets en route to a 12-0 burst that gave the Trojans a 43-37 advantage with 15:19 to play. It was the first time USC had led all game.
The Bruins turned up their defense and went on an 8-0 run to take a 53-51 edge after Collison made a jumper from just inside the arc with 8:24 left. UCLA never trailed again against its crosstown rivals.
"This rivalry never gets old," Collison told the Los Angeles Times. "It'll always be here."
Taj Gibson snapped a five-minute scoreless stretch for USC, which later tied the game on a jumper but Holiday put UCLA in front for good, scoring on a driving lefthanded layup with 4:27 left for a 55-53 lead.
Dragovic followed with a 3-pointer to extend the lead to five but the Trojans stayed close and Daniel Hackett had a chance to tie the game with 2:21 left. However, his 3-pointer from the left corner was off the mark and Dwight Lewis missed a two-point jumper with the team down three with 27 seconds to go.
"We shot better than them, we rebounded better and we were even in turnovers," Hackett told the LA Times. "It came down to a couple plays where they executed and we didn't."
Freshman DeMar DeRozan scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half and Gibson finished with 13 for the Trojans (10-5, 1-2), who were coming off a shocking loss at Oregon State the previous Sunday. It was the Beavers' first Pac-10 win in their last 24 games.
"They took away my jump shot by switching on everything," DeRozan told the newspaper. "I couldn't get the looks I was getting in the first half."
Collison got off to a fast start, leading a 13-2 UCLA run with eight points to help the Bruins to a 19-8 lead with 13:54 left in the first half.
The Trojans' front line took a hit early on as Gibson picked up two fouls in the first 3:33 and later was whistled for a third with 14:12 left in the half.
With Gibson on the bench, USC chipped away and cut the deficit to 26-25 with 5:57 to play before the break on Hackett's jumper.
UCLA took a four-point lead when Holiday made his third 3-pointer of the half with 46 seconds left, but Keith Wilkinson scored to cut the USC deficit to 33-31 at intermission.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
UCLA (7) 33 31 64
USC 31 29 60 FINAL
Jan 12 12:37 AM
- NCAA BB
(7) UCLA 33
USC 31 HALFTIME
Jan 11 11:29 PM
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