Trojans Move Into First Place With Blowout Win Over Rival UCLA

Ethan Anderson's career-high 19 points propel the Trojans to victory.
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Update those rankings! The Trojans (15-3) defend their home court in a 66-48 trouncing of the UCLA Bruin (13-4).

One of the biggest keys to winning tonights game against the Bruins (13-4) was running them off the three-point line. UCLA came into today’s matchup with the second best three-point percentage in the Pac-12 (37.3%), but that’s going to take a hit the way the Trojans defended them in the first half.

The Bruins were only able to make two of their nine three-point attempts, and scored just 20 first half points. USC’s versatility allowed them to swarm the perimeter and switch their bigs on to UCLA’s smaller players. Their tight man-to-man defense didn’t give any breathing room to the Bruins shooters.

On the other end of the court, UCLA’s 2-3 zone was giving the Trojans fits, holding their offense to 30 points and 35% shooting from the field in the first half. But they went away from that in the second half and played a more traditional man-to-man defense.

This played right into the Trojans hands.

Usually, the story coming out of most games is the domination of the front court led by the Mobley brothers. But the story out of tonight’s game was the second half takeover by the backcourt of Ethan Anderson (19 points, career-high) and Tahj Eaddy (16 points).

They combined for 26 points and made all four of the Trojans three-point shots. On the night, Ethan Anderson buried five triples after making only eight all season entering tonight’s matchup.

When asked in the postgame presser why he seems to always play well against the rival Bruins, Ethan Anderson said, “playing against UCLA, the way they switch five people on defense I think really gives me the advantage because I’m a guy that likes to get switches and attack my mismatch. We were able to do that tonight.”

After tonight’s win, the Trojans will move into first place in the Pac-12 conference. But that doesn't mean coach Andy Enfield is taking his foot off the gas.

“The teams at the top can’t take anything for granted and we certainly are not going to. We’re going to try and stay focused on game-to-game. And our next game is Thursday and we’ll prepare for that like we did today,” said Coach Enfield.

The Trojans next matchup is against the Washington Huskies on February 11. The game will air at 7:00 p.m. PST on the Pac-12 Network.


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