Boogie Ellis, USC bury UCLA in second half for top-10 upset
Boogie Ellis tied UCLA in the second half. All by himself. The Bruins scored 27 points in the final 20 minutes, and Ellis scored 27 in the final 20 minutes.
Nevermind that UCLA went into the halftime break Thursday night at the Galen Center up 37-25. Nevermind that the last time these two met USC fought back in a second half to take a lead only to watch it slip away in the final minute.
Ellis could not miss. He wouldn’t be denied. He had the Trojan crowd — which included Heisman Trophy-winning USC quarterback Caleb Williams — boogieing all evening as he knocked down big shot after big shot after big shot.
The senior guard finished with a career-high 31 points, six assists, and four rebounds to help USC defeat No. 8 UCLA 77-64. There were stepbacks and fall-aways and contested jumpers and just all-around ridiculous baskets. Ellis was 4-for-11 from the field for just 10 points in the previous meeting, and you could tell he wanted Thursday night’s rematch.
BOOGIE ELLIS FROM DEEP 🎯 @USC_Hoops pic.twitter.com/AASM2Ax3Ke
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 27, 2023
It’s USC’s first win over an AP Top 10 team since 2017. It also pulled the Trojans within a single game of the top spot in the Pac-12.
UCLA took a 12-point first-half lead thanks to red-hot shooting. David Singleton, held scoreless in the loss to Arizona last Saturday, hit three of his five first-half triples. Tyger Campbell knocked down two more for a UCLA squad that sank 55% of its shots in the first 20 minutes.
USC shot 31% from the field and 4-of-13 from 3. Ellis was 0-of-5 from 3, limited to just four points.
The script completely flipped in the second half, and almost immediately. USC hit its shots and harassed UCLA into misses at the other end. The second half began with a 27-6 Trojan run.
Drew Peterson added 16 points for the Trojans (15-6, 7-3 Pac-12). Kobe Johnson had 10 points, five boards, and five assists.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 15 points for the Bruins (17-4, 8-2 Pac-12) while David Singleton and Tyger Campbell added 14 points each.
Both the Trojans and Bruins are off for a week. USC will host Washington State next Thursday while Washington heads to Westwood to battle UCLA.