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Jaylen Clark Saves No. 10 UCLA Late vs. USC

The second time was the charm for Jaylen Clark, who connected on his second 3-point attempt of No. 10-ranked UCLA’s game-winning possession to stave off visiting USC’s second-half rally and win 60–58 in Los Angeles on Thursday, Jan. 5.

The Bruins (14-2, 5-0 Pac-12) coughed up an 18-point halftime lead, the result of a dismal shooting performance in the second half. UCLA scored just 16 points after intermission, shooting 5-of-22 from the floor, 2–of–11 from beyond the 3-point arc, and 4–of–10 at the foul line.

The second of UCLA’s two made 3-pointers in the half was a big one, however, as Clark—who missed his first look on the possession—got a do-over thanks to David Singleton’s offensive rebound.

Singleton passed to Clark, who shot from the same spot at the top of the key from where he missed seconds prior. The second attempt was good, giving UCLA back a lead it held for more than 38 minutes and giving Clark his team-best 15 points.

Of the 39 total seconds the Bruins trailed, 17 immediately preceded Clark’s basket.

Reese Dixon-Waters scored on a baby hook with 32 seconds remaining to give USC its first lead since the game’s opening minute.

The Trojans (11–5, 3–2) chipped away at the lead with a 14–of–28 performance from the floor in the second half, leading up to Dixon-Waters’ go-ahead basket. He scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the second half and shot 7 of 7 from the field for the game.

Kobe Johnson shot 3 of 4 from the floor after the break and grabbed all four of his rebounds in the second half. He finished with eight points; Drew Peterson recorded nine points, five rebounds and three assists; and Boogie Ellis chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.

Ellis attacked the basket on USC’s final possession, but his would-be overtime-forcing fadeaway jumper at the buzzer was off the mark.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half for UCLA. Singleton scored 12 points, but scored only one after halftime and missed one of his two final free throws in the closing seconds. He came into Thursday’s game shooting 94.4 percent from the line.

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