Hands propels UCLA past USC 93-88 in overtime

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jaylen Hands had 21 points and 10 assists, hitting a crucial 3-pointer that beat the shot clock with 22 seconds left in overtime, and UCLA hung on to beat Southern California 93-88 on Thursday night for its third straight win.

The Bruins (16-13, 9-7 Pac-12) gained a split in the crosstown rivalry after losing 80-67 last month.

Kris Wilkes and Jules Bernard added 16 points each, Chris Smith had 13 points, and Moses Brown had 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Bruins in their last regular-season home game.

Bennie Boatwright had 25 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Trojans (15-14, 8-8).

The Bruins outscored the Trojans 11-6 in overtime when UCLA never trailed.

USC closed to 89-88 on Boatwright’s seventh 3-pointer of the game, but the Trojans never scored again.

Hands beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Bernard hit 1 of 2 free throws to finish it off.

Neither team led by more than four points over the final 7:05 of regulation. The game was tied three times in the last six minutes, including 82-all on Smith’s jumper with 1 minute to go.

Boatwright and Hands each missed 3-pointers. Elijah Weaver grabbed the rebound of Hands’ miss and called timeout with 18 seconds to go.

Boatwright missed a potential game-winning 3 at the buzzer to force overtime.

In the extra session, Bernard hit a jumper and David Singleton made the Bruins’ 10th 3-pointer of the game for an 87-82 lead.

Boatwright and Shaqquan Aaron each missed 3-pointers before Weaver hit one to get the Trojans to 87-85.

Tied 51-all, the Bruins outscored USC 11-2 to take a 62-53 lead, their largest of the game.

But USC clawed back, making seven 3-pointers over the final 10 ½ minutes, including four by Boatwright. He came into the game having hit 19 3-pointers in his three previous games.

Nick Rakocevic was held to six points — well below his 15.1 average — and nine rebounds for USC.

Boatwright’s 3-pointer put USC ahead by four, but the Trojans missed all seven of their field-goal attempts to end the first half. Bernard’s 3-pointer gave UCLA a 41-38 lead at the break.

BIG PICTURE

USC: The Trojans are in a funk with two road games left in the regular season. They want to finish among the top four in the Pac-12 to earn an opening-round bye in the league tournament, which represents their only chance to make the NCAA Tournament.

UCLA: The young Bruins are maturing at the right time, having won four of five going into their last road trip of the regular season. They also are angling to avoid playing an opening-round game in the league tourney next month in Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

USC: Visits Utah on March 7 and Colorado the next day to close the regular season.

UCLA: Visits Colorado on March 7 in its next-to-last regular season game.

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