At the halftime buzzer, Jordan Adams soared up next to the basket and tipped in a wayward 3-point attempt — giving UCLA a commanding 24-point lead at the break.
Some 30 seconds later, officials waved off the two points after a review. It was about the only break USC caught all Sunday afternoon, as the Bruins thoroughly dismantled them 107-73 at Pauley Pavilion.
The scoring total was UCLA’s largest this season, and tied for its highest total ever against the Trojans as well as the second-highest margin of victory.
The crosstown basketball rivalry has not carried much fire in recent years, given that UCLA had won five of their last six meetings. For just the fourth time ever, however, both schools were debuting first-year head coaches.
Andy Enfield landed the USC job off of Florida Gulf Coast’s marvelous Sweet Sixteen run, one that anchored an otherwise light resume. He nevertheless captured plenty of headlines: first in October, when he remarked in practice that UCLA played “slow,” then a month later when he joked that he had the same number of Sweet Sixteen berths as Steve Alford, but in far less time.
Alford had said those comments had “zero” effect on how the Bruins would prepare for the game, but the team’s actual performance spoke to at least a small measure of extra motivation. After giving up the first bucket of the game, UCLA unleashed an 11-0 run and never trailed again.
When sophomore Kyle Anderson tied a career-high 23 points with a contested layup midway through the second half, Alford gave him an uncharacteristic chest bump.
The point guard added 12 rebounds and five assists on his way to his seventh double-double of the season.
Freshman Bryce Alford led the team with 15 points in the first half, and ended up with a career-high 20 points.