This story has been corrected. See below.
This one wasn't close.
USC came into Pauley Pavilion and soundly beat the unranked Bruins, 67-46, on strong defense and a barrage of scoring from guard Dwight Lewis and forward Nikola Vucevic.
Lewis continued his hot streak that has seen him lead USC in scoring in each of the last three games. He's scored an average of 22 points in those games, including 24 tonight on 9-of-15 shooting. Lewis also has hit 11 3-pointers.
For Vucevic, tonight's game marked a return to the dominant play that he displayed early on this season. He had 19 points and 6 rebounds on his own; UCLA's three starting forwards combined to have only 15 points and nine rebounds.
So while point guard Mike Gerrity had another lackluster game on offense, USC (11-6, 3-2) never experienced trouble with the Bruins. In fact, UCLA (7-10, 2-3) trailed from the get-go, falling behind 7-0 before two minutes went by in the first half. That forced Bruins coach Ben Howland to call an immediate timeout.
USC proceeded to open up a 30-13 lead at one point near the end of the first half, but UCLA closed the gap to 33-21 at the break. That was the closest the Bruins would get though, as the Trojans opened the half on a 17-5 run.
Next for USC is a Thursday home game against Washington State at 7:30 p.m.. The late Rory Markas will be honored pre-game in what's sure to be an emotional ceremony.
Notes: Only five USC players scored, but UCLA got only 12 points each from leading scorers Michael Roll and Malcolm Lee.
In a Jan. 16 ESPNLosAngeles.com blog, it was incorrectly reported that USC guard
Percy Miller, also known as Lil' Romeo, had been kicked off the
men's basketball team due to a prior infraction. Miller remains with the team.