Southern California women upset No. 15 UCLA 71-68
LOS ANGELES (AP) The way Southern California captain Jordan Adams saw it, it was up to Temi Fagbenle whether the Trojans were going to beat their crosstown rivals.
''She was dead tired, but we didn't give her an option. Everybody was yelling at her,'' Adams said after Fagbenle scored 9 of her 20 points in a decisive 12-3 fourth-quarter surge that lifted the Trojans past No. 15 UCLA 71-68 on Sunday night.
''I knew she was tired but I knew she could give us what we needed,'' Southern California coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said. ''I knew she could perform so we called her number and she kept putting it in. It was exactly what we needed at that point of the game to win the game.''
''I love the faith my team has in me,'' said Fagbenle, who also grabbed 15 rebounds. ''They give me energy. It can get hairy, but this team really lifts me up. They come and scream in my ear, and it's fantastic.''
Kristen Simon had 14 points with 11 rebounds and Sadie Edwards added 13 points for the Trojans (14-2, 2-2 Pac-12), who beat the Bruins for only the fifth time in 14 meetings.
''They executed better than us. They rebounded better than us. They were tougher than us,'' UCLA coach Cori Close said. ''They were the better team tonight.''
Jordin Canada scored 26 points to lead UCLA (11-4, 3-1), which lost its first conference game and snapped a four-game winning streak. Nirra Fields added 13 points.
''I thought they out-hustled us. That's what's most disappointing,'' said Canada. ''We played with a lack of intensity.''
The Bruins outscored the Trojans 13-5 in the closing minutes, pulling to 63-58 on Canada's jumper with 1:43 left. It was Adams who made six consecutive free throws over the final 1:17, with Simon adding two more with 18 seconds left, to seal it for Southern California.
The Trojans held Canada, Fields and Monique Billings to 16-of-51 shooting and 44 points. The trio combined to make 25 of 44 shots and score 64 points in the Bruins' 78-73 victory against the Trojans on Dec. 30 at Pauley Pavilion.
`I thought they outplayed us in the first game in a lot of areas but we just made a lot more shots,'' said Close, whose team shot 49 percent in its victory on Dec. 30 but only 31 percent Sunday night. ''I didn't think we defended any better in the first game than we did tonight. You're going to have bad shooting nights. We were getting good shots we just weren't making them.''
UCLA swept the Trojans in 2014-15, winning 59-52 at the Galen Center and 71-60 at Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA: The Bruins went ice cold after taking a 14-11 lead with 2:30 left in the first quarter, making just 3 of their next 24 shots. The icy touch lasted early into the third quarter, and included 12 consecutive missed shots in quarters one and two. ... Kari Korver extended her consecutive game streak with a 3-pointer to 26 with two 3s in the closing minutes. ... Monique Billings scored five points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field.
Southern California: Adams scored 13 points in her return after missing four games with a foot injury.
UCLA: At Washington on Friday night.
Southern California: At Washington State on Friday night.