The USC locker room had a noticeable pep in its step after Sunday's 68-64 win over UCLA at the Galen Center. Here are a few quotes that couldn't fit into the recap:
Senior guard Dwight Lewis, on the team's feeling heading into the game and the level of difficulty in preparing for a rivalry game: "We came into the game loose. We weren't really tensed up. We were ready to play in a big game, a big rivalry. If you can't get excited for this, you really shouldn't be playing."
Coach Kevin O'Neill, on his understanding of the importance of the USC-UCLA rivalry: "From the time I sat in the interview with Mike Garrett, I understood how important it is to beat UCLA. We approached it like it's an important game. It has recruiting ramifications."
The rest of Alex Stepheson's humorous play-by-play of Marcus Johnson's second-half dunk attempt: "I saw Marcus take those two powerful steps, and I was like, 'Here we go.' He jumped from far, he cocked it back, and I swear I thought he was gonna try to break the dude's arm. Just to go for something like that is crazy."
Point guard Mike Gerrity, on the win as it relates to a potential conference title: "They say you treat every game the same, but there's certainly a little more motivation for us in the fact that it's UCLA. It's that's much sweeter for us. But we still feel like the job isn't complete yet — we'd rather hold up the conference championship trophy than win this game."
Moving on, the Trojans (15-9, 7-5) were off Monday and play Washington on Thursday in Seattle. The Huskies (17-8, 7-6) stand alone in f0urth in the Pac-10, a half-game behind USC.