Boogie Ellis and USC make their own NCAA tournament case in a furious comeback over UCLA

Southern California guard Boogie Ellis (5) shoots UCLA guard Amari Bailey.

USC guard Boogie Ellis shoots at UCLA guard Amari Bailey in the course of the second half of the Trojans’ 77-64 win over No. 8 UCLA Thursday night time on the Galen Heart. Ellis completed with 31 factors. (Mark J. Tyrrell / Related Press)

There will not be many pictures like this. to USCa workforce rounded into form, and alternatives to make his case NCAA Match The choice committee was only a few right here and couldn’t squander something left. at the very least in opposition to his arch-rival, College of Californiaone of many few Pac-12 groups able to attracting committee consideration.

It was with these stakes on his shoulders Boogie Ellis backed off Prime the swap on a Thursday night time and let your last-minute three pointers fly. Just some weeks in the past, when the 2 crosstown rivals final met, it was Ellis who went down the street, and an inexplicable offensive error that turned the tide belatedly.

This time round, the Trojans level guard can be his one-man tidal wave, sweeping UCLA with a second-half effort which may be among the many most memorable within the rivalry’s latest historical past. This time round, with Ellis on the lookout for salvation and USC on the lookout for an announcement, the livid comeback won’t fall wanting 77-64 victory greater than UCLA.

“We wanted an enormous win,” USC coach Andy Enfield He mentioned.

USC acquired it proper Thursday, handing UCLA its second straight defeat and fifth straight loss at Galen Heart. The Trojans sit simply behind the Bruins within the Pac-12 race, a risk that appeared unlikely simply weeks in the past.

UCLA stays within the driver’s seat on this regard, having gained 14 in a row previous to the present dropping streak. However the Bruins’ lackluster second-half effort left loads of questions of their wake. Specifically why their offense gave them up within the second half streak in opposition to USC.

“We’re not a juggernaut,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin He mentioned. “I had no illusions about going undefeated within the Pac-12.”

to David SingletonThere’s a easy reply to why UCLA collapsed once more after halftime.

USC guard Drew Peterson, right, deflects a shot by UCLA guard Jaime Jacques Jr. during the second half.

USC guard Drew Peterson, proper, deflects a shot by UCLA guard Jaime Jacques Jr. in the course of the second half. (Mark J. Tyrrell / Related Press)

“For my part, I feel they needed it greater than us,” mentioned Singleton, who scored 14 factors. “I feel they performed tougher, they needed it extra, and so they acquired their job executed.”

By the point Ellis fired these last three on Thursday, USC had already begun unleashing a second-half barrage on UCLA, burying the Bruins with deep pictures and smothering them on the ball screens.

UCLA was in full management within the first half, hanging on to a wholesome lead, seemingly a long term from placing the Trojans away.

However this time, he waited too lengthy. this time, Drew Peterson hit three. Then freshman Trey White. Then Ellis. and Ellis. And Ellis once more.

Over the ultimate 17 minutes on Thursday, USC scored 13 of its final 20 pictures, seven of which got here from its base, which led by 27 factors within the second half.

“It is a very particular match,” mentioned Enfield.

There was little UCLA may have executed to gradual Ellis down. His 27 factors within the second half matched your entire Bruins workforce complete after halftime, as Enfield known as one after one other for his start line guard.

“When it will get going, it is onerous to protect it,” Enfield mentioned. “He performed like a first-round draft decide tonight. He was completely unbelievable.”

He wasn’t fairly as terrible earlier than half-time, nevertheless, after lacking his first 5 tries of the match.

He and Peterson had a mixed 4 of 12 going into the inning as UCLA cruised to an early drive. That they had completed with a complete of 47 factors.

USC did not have a solution within the first half for the freshman ahead Adam Bona’s energy Inside.

Nor may Singleton gradual his shot from behind the arc, contributing 4 three-pointers.

“We have been getting killed within the first half, identical to the primary half at Pauli final time,” Peterson mentioned.

USC forwards Kobe Johnson and Joshua Morgan fight for the rebound with UCLA guard Jaylen Clark.

USC forwards Kobe Johnson, left, and Joshua Morgan, proper, vie for the rebound with UCLA guard Jaylen Clark throughout halftime. (Mark J. Tyrrell / Related Press)

USC guard Boogie Ellis celebrates during the second half on Thursday.

USC guard Boogie Ellis celebrates in the course of the second half on Thursday. (Mark J. Tyrrell / Related Press)

However once more, the Trojans regrouped on the break. They shut down Bona, stopping him with one shot.

They blocked the lane, clogging up any level guard drives Tiger Campbellwho didn’t make a discipline purpose after the half.

They knocked out extra effort on the boards. Then, going nuclear, Ellis shot away till it lastly required one final basket.

That is when the purpose guard pulled out, together with the freshman Amari Bailey in his face. The shot solely scored the web, giving USC its largest win of the season—and a significant assertion forward of March.

“This can be a begin,” mentioned Ellis. We nonetheless have extra to show. Profitable one recreation in opposition to UCLA, it is superb. It is nice for competitors. However we nonetheless have extra to show. “

This story initially appeared Los Angeles Instances.

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