Norman Powell scored a season-high 21 points in UCLA’s 83-73 win at USC last night, 10 of which came in the first 7:08 of the second half as part of his team’s 27-6 run.
It’s not the first time the junior has played the spark plug role this season. In a 70-68 win at Oregon, he scored eight of UCLA’s first 10 points of the second half. In a 69-56 win at Colorado, he scored 19 and forced Buffs guard Askia Booker into early foul trouble.
What made his latest outing a bit different was the return of his shooting stroke. He entered the game shooting 18.4 percent from beyond the arc, but made 2-of-4 against the Trojans. It was the second time this season that he drained multiple 3-pointers.
His eight field goals on Saturday were also a single-game record for a UCLA player in the Galen Center, which was built before the 2006-07 season.
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.
Last week, Andy Enfield’s in-practice comments on UCLA’s “slow” play picked up steam in the national media. Naturally, it was the first question asked of him at Thursday’s Pac-12 Media Day.
He and UCLA coach Steve Alford both insisted that there was no bad blood between them, mentioning how much respect they had for one another. Alford offered similar thoughts again on Monday before the Bruins’ afternoon practice.
But when asked if he has a better grasp on the city’s rivalry, he pointed something else out.
Say this for Andy Enfield: he knows how to make headlines. The USC coach first came to national prominence while guiding Florida Gulf Coast to a thrilling, dunk-filled run to the Sweet Sixteen.
Now in Los Angeles, he’s trying to build up a long-struggling Trojans program while seizing attention away from UCLA — a traditional basketball power trying to find its own way under new coach Steve Alford.
According to the San Jose Mercury-News, Enfield stopped a recent USC scrimmage and told his players they weren’t executing his “Dunk City” offense the way he wanted.