LOS ANGELES -- As long as Jordan Farmar remains in the
fold, it appears UCLA will not let injuries bring it down.
Farmar buried his first three 3-pointers and scored 11 of his 15
points in the first half as the 16th-ranked Bruins started
strong and rolled to a 66-45 victory over Southern California in
a Pac-10 Conference showdown.
Arron Afflalo added 11 points and Ryan Hollins had nine in his
second game back from a long layoff as UCLA (15-3, 5-2 Pac-10)
continued to defy a seemingly never-ending string of injuries to
maintain its top spot in the league.
Farmar, who has been bothered by an ankle injury at times, set
the tone with a pair of 3-pointers to open the scoring and later
capped a 12-0 run with another from the arc as the Bruins
grabbed an 18-2 lead less than seven minutes in.
"Jordan's threes got us going," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "He
got off to a great start. He did a great job tonight and was
passionate on defense."
"I did a lot of extra shooting this week," Farmar said. "I
finally got in some good conditioning. I know I can score if
I'm aggressive. We played so well (in the first half), we
didn't want to give them a chance to get back in it."
Afflalo's jumper made it 24-5 with 8:34 left in the first half
and freshman Michael Roll, who was inserted into the starting
lineup three games ago when Josh Shipp was lost for the season
with a hip injury, buried a 3-pointer moments later to give UCLA
a commanding 29-7 advantage.
Farmar's layup capped a 6-2 burst to open the second half and
make it 45-21 and the Bruins never led by fewer than 20 after
the break. Afflalo scored five straight points to push the lead
to 30 for the first time at 60-30 with 8:14 to go.
Afflalo's late burst allowed him to keep alive his string of
scoring in double figures in each game this season. He finished
almost eight points below his average but did a remarkable job
defending USC's second-leading scorer, Gabe Pruitt, who had four
points on 1-of-9 shooting.
"Gabe is very good, I didn't do it by myself," said Afflalo, who
was torched for 25 second-half points by Washington State's
Josh Akognon on Thursday. "I was getting a lot of help and Gabe
had a rough night shooting."
Nick Young, who entered with a team-leading 17.3 scoring average
for the Trojans, did not fare much better, scoring eight points
on 3-of-12 shooting.
"That was the best defense we've played for 40 minutes," Howland
said. "We were really determined to stop them. After the first
half, we wanted to make sure we didn't let up in the second
half. This is an outstanding win for our young team."
One of seven sophomores or freshman in Howland's regular
rotation, Farmar had six assists and five rebounds. Freshman Luc
Richard Mbah a Moute finished with 10 points and shook off an
apparent ankle injury that caused him to limp off the court with
less than 10 minutes left.
Dwayne Shackleford was the only Trojan to reach double figures
with 12 points on 2-of-6 shooting. USC (12-6, 3-4) shot 30
percent (13-of-44) from the floor and made just one 3-pointer in
its worst loss of the season.
Abdoulaye N'diaye was the only Trojan to record a field goal
over the first 15-plus minutes until Lodrick Stewart's 3-pointer
made it 32-14. It was Stewart's only basket and Pruitt
followed with his lone field goal to slice the deficit to 16
The Bruins closed the half on a 7-3 run to erase any chance of a
comeback by the visitors.
"It was really a disappointing night for us," Trojans coach Tim
Floyd said. "UCLA did a terrific job on defense and we lost our
poise on offense. Give UCLA credit, though, they really got
After winning four straight meetings between the teams, USC has
lost the last three.