Culver City Observer -

It's USC Vs. UCLA Again Saturday

 

February 16, 2017



The number five will be a key number when UCLA battles USC in men’s basketball on Saturday. USC is looking to be victorious over the Bruins for the fifth time in a row and UCLA wants to extend their winning streak to five games. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.

The No. 6 ranked Bruins are 23-3 overall and 10-3 in the Pac-12 conference. USC is 21-5 and 8-5. The Bruins have been highly ranked all year but the Trojans have rarely cracked the top 25. With five regular conference games to go for both teams this game is very important.

If the Bruins expect to win they must continue to play solid defense. UCLA is one of the best offensive teams in the nation but during their three losses they were exposed defensively and UCLA head coach hates that label.

“We are 23-3 and everyone is talking about our defense,” said Steve Alford after their win over Oregon State last Sunday.

“Right now we are more efficient offensively but we want to keep improving defensively,” said Alford. “That’s a big key for us. We want to hold teams around 75 points.”

The good news is the Bruins have the talent to play good defense led by three outstanding freshmen. Collectively Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf and Ike Anigbogu are the three best first year players in the nation.

Last week the NCAA selection committee announced a mock NCAA bracket which had the Bruins seeded number four and playing their first round game on the East coast. “I wish we could control that but we just need to win games,” said Alford. “We have been a top 10 team all year long but we have to continue to work and we have a month to get ready for the NCAA Tournament.”

The Trojans are still trying to adjust to the return of 6-10 forward, Bennie Boatwright who missed nine weeks with a knee injury. In his first game back on February 1, against Washington on the road Boatwright scored 23 points in 21 minutes. His next two games after that he also played well but against Oregon last Saturday he made only three of 15 shots.

“Bennie felt worse than anyone at the Galen Center,” said USC coach Andy Enfield after the Oregon game.

The UCLA women’s basketball team was hit by the injury bug last week when their best player, All- American point guard Jordin Canada fell and hit her head against Oregon State. The Bruins, who are 18-7 overall and 9-5 in the Pac-12 conference will need Canada if they expect to make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament.

The lady Bruins will host the University of Washington today (Friday) at 8 p.m. and Washington State on Sunday at 11 a.m. Both games will be played at Pauley Pavilion.

The USC women’s basketball team is 13-12 overall and 4-10 in the Pac-12. They will host Washington State today (Friday) at 6 p.m. and Washington on Sunday at 3 p.m. Both games will be played at the Galen Center.

UCLA women’s gymnastics team has two home meets next week. On Monday they face Bridgeport and Utah at 1 p.m. and Saturday, February 25 they take on Arizona at 1 p.m.

 

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