No. 12 UCLA routs rival USC 61-42
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Tyus Edney helped UCLA win its last national basketball championship in 1995, so coach Nikki Caldwell called on him to give her women's team an earful.
Jasmine Dixon scored 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting and No. 12 UCLA routed Southern California 61-42 Saturday in a matchup of crosstown rivals off to their best starts in years.
"He said it's about heart," Caldwell said. "I think the team listened to him, they don't always listen to me."
The Bruins (13-1, 3-0 Pac-10) have won 11 consecutive league games dating to last season and three in a row over the Trojans (10-4, 2-1).
"It's bigger than us. It's for the school," said Doreena Campbell, who added 13 points for UCLA.
The Bruins' only loss to LSU on Dec. 28 snapped their 10-game winning streak to open the season. Their start is their best since the 1976-77 team opened 18-1.
"That game was on our mind because it was our last home game, but we had to shake it off and step up," Dixon said.
Ashley Corral scored 14 points for USC, which had its six-game winning streak end. Still, the Trojans are off to their hottest start since going 17-1 before their first Pac-10 loss in 1993-94.
"There were a lot of things in the game we didn't get done. We had a lot of open looks in the first half and didn't make them," USC coach Michael Cooper said. "Their defense was harrassing, but it wasn't maniacal like we thought it would be. I thought our defense was going to be a lot better. We got to get a lot nastier."
USC's leading scorer Briana Gilbreath missed all 12 of her shots and finished with nine points -- all on free throws -- while playing in foul trouble. She came in averaging 14.5 points.
"We still had open looks and she just wasn't knocking them down," Cooper said.
The Trojans shot a 28 percent from the floor and committed 20 turnovers in front of a big crowd, including UCLA's rowdy student section that noisily taunted the Trojans for their airballs.
"We knew what it was going to be like when we came in here," Corral said. "It's a hostile environment. We just didn't show up."
After another turnover, Cooper covered his eyes with his hand.
"I hear them, but they don't bother me," he said, adding that he "very much" enjoyed the students' creativity.
The Trojans got clobbered on the boards, 43-32, with Dixon and Markel Walker doing most of the damage with nine each for UCLA.
Campbell scored the Bruins' first eight points of the second half, stretching their lead to 34-15. Gilbreath finally notched her first points of the game on four consecutive free throws five minutes into the half.
"I told Campbell you need to be a ball hog and shoot more. She had a couple mismatches and she was able to capitalize on that," Caldwell said. "We have a lot of different offensive weapons, which means you can't place your defensive effort on one aspect of the game."
The Trojans never made a dent in their double-digit deficit, getting denied on numerous possessions by UCLA's defense.
The Trojans went 10 minutes without a field goal in the first half, when they trailed 26-13 at the break.
"I haven't seen that all season," Cooper said about USC's point total.
The Bruins had eight second-chance points on nine offensive rebounds while controlling the boards, 23-16.
Coach Ben Howland and his men's team were on hand to watch UCLA's only ranked basketball team in action. The men are 9-5 overall and visit USC on Sunday.
Updated January 8, 2011