LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bryce Alford scored 26 points, including 10 straight in the second half, and No. 6 UCLA beat Southern California 102-70 on Saturday night, snapping a four-game skid against its crosstown rival while improving to 5-0 in February.
Playing their first game in six days, the Bruins (22-5, 9-5 Pac-12) avenged an 84-76 loss at USC last month to remain the league’s only unbeaten team this month. They are 14-1 at home.
TJ Leaf added 19 points and Thomas Welsh had 16 points and a career high-tying 16 rebounds for the Bruins, who handed USC its worst loss of the season.
Bennie Boatwright had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans (21-6, 8-6). They tied a season high with 14 3-pointers in last month’s win, but hit seven this time and just two in the second half of their first game in a week.
Leaf was held to eight points on 4-of-10 shooting while in foul trouble in the Bruins’ previous loss. His shooting was on early in Saturday’s game, hitting 5 of 7 for 12 points in the first half.
The Bruins tied the game 23-all on Isaac Hamilton’s 3-pointer, one of five made during their 28-11 run to close the half and take a 46-34 lead. Lonzo Ball’s 3-pointer with four seconds remaining was UCLA’s seventh of the half.
Led by Welsh, the Bruins extended their lead to 15 points to open the second half. He scored eight of their 18 points to start the half, with Leaf hitting a 3-pointer that made it 61-46.
The Trojans never got closer than nine points before the rout was on.
Alford stretched UCLA’s lead to 81-61 on 10 straight points. He made a 3-pointer and then drove the lane, got hip-checked by Elijah Stewart to draw the foul and made the free throw. He got fouled on UCLA’s next possession, made both and scored on their next trip down the court.
Alford’s alley-oop pass set up Ball’s dunk that had the crowd in a tizzy before Alford hit UCLA’s 10th 3-pointer for a 96-66 lead. Ball’s dunk got the Bruins to the century mark for the ninth time this season.
USC: The Trojans have lost two in a row with four games left in the regular season, including at No. 5 Arizona next week.
UCLA: The Bruins’ hopes of winning the Pac-12 title remain slim with four games remaining in the regular season. They trail first-place Arizona (one loss) and second-place Oregon (two losses).
USC: Visits No. 5 Arizona on Feb. 23 in the second of three straight road games. The Trojans lost by seven points in the first meeting last month.
UCLA: Visits Arizona State on Feb. 23, a team the Bruins beat by 22 points last month.