Jan. 11, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) - Darren Collison scored 18 points, Nikola Dragovic added 14 in his first start of the season and No. 10 UCLA held off Southern California 64-60 Sunday night to win its ninth in a row.
Freshman DeMar DeRozan scored 11 of his career-high 15 points in the first half for the Trojans (10-5, 1-2). Taj Gibson added 13 points while playing the second half with three fouls and Daniel Hackett also had 13.
USC blew a five-point lead in the second half.
They were coming off a 62-58 overtime loss at Oregon State in which the Trojans led by 15 points in the second half. UCLA opened Pac-10 play by sweeping the Oregon schools on the road.
As always, emotions ran high between the crosstown rivals. At 10:37 of the first half, UCLA freshman Drew Gordon struck Hackett in the jaw with his elbow after a play ended. Gordon put his arms in the air to get by Hackett, who appeared to get into Gordon's space. Neither player was penalized.
Less than a minute later, USC coach Tim Floyd received a warning for being out of the coach's box, and he reacted hotly.
Gibson, USC's leading scorer and double-figure rebounder, was limited to six minutes in the first half after picking up his third foul. He fouled out late.
USC took its first lead on a fast-break layup by Dwight Lewis early in the second half. It was part of a 12-0 run that included a 3-pointer by Hackett and gave the Trojans a 43-37 lead with 15:19 remaining.
Collison's school-record consecutive free-throw streak ended at 43 when he missed the first after being fouled at 14:37. About that time, the momentum swung back to UCLA.
The Bruins outscored USC 16-8 to regain the lead, 53-51, on Collison's jumper that beat the shot clock. Dragovic and Shipp hit consecutive 3-pointers in the run and Shipp hit a tying free throw.
Gibson tied it again at 53 on a layup, then Shipp turned the ball over when he stepped out of bounds in the corner. The Bruins led 58-53 on a jumper by Holiday and a 3-pointer by Dragovic.
Hackett's 3-pointer brought the Trojans to 58-56 before Dragovic made three of four free throws for a 61-56 lead with 2:16 left.
Gibson's layup put the Trojans within three with 1½ minutes to go, but Lewis missed a jumper and Dragovic grabbed the defensive rebound. Shipp hit two free throws and Collison made one of two in the closing seconds.
The Bruins opened the game with a 19-8 run, helped by eight points from Collison. From there, the Trojans outscored UCLA 23-14 to end the half trailing 33-31. DeRozan had eight points and Hackett six in the spurt that allowed USC twice to get within one point but not take the lead.
Holiday scored UCLA's final five points of the half, the last eight minutes of which included an airball by Holiday and several misses by Collison, Shipp and Dragovic.