- Associated Press - Sunday, January 22, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - This rivalry game wasn’t decided until the final minute, but the result was the same; another UCLA women’s basketball victory over USC.

The previous matchup was vastly easier for the Bruins, but UCLA beat USC for the second time in four days, a 71-67 victory Sunday at Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA (15-4, 6-2) benefited from USC’s 19 turnovers. Jordin Canada and Kennedy Burke each scored 23 points for the Bruins (Burke tied a career-high in scoring) while Monique Billings had a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Burke also tied a career-high in rebounds with nine.

“Actually, we do this thing every week where we have commitment cards,” Burke said. “This week, my focus was offensive rebounding and being confident with the ball. My teammates helped me.”

Burke had six of UCLA’s 16 offensive rebounds, but USC edged UCLA on the boards overall, 47-42.

USC (10-9, 1-7) suffered its seventh consecutive loss. Courtney Jaco led USC with 18 points, and Kristen Simon added 16 points and eight rebounds. Simon, USC’s leading scorer, was back in the lineup Sunday after missing the three previous games with an injury. Billings had 28 points in the previous game, but the Trojans used a double-team with Simon that made it more difficult for Billings to score inside.

Jaco played against Canada for the final time in this rivalry. The two were teammates at Winward High in Los Angeles.

Afterward, Jaco and Canada both told each other they loved one another. Jaco was happier with USC’s performance, even though it was another loss.

“You just get up for these games,” Jaco said. “It’s rivalry week.”

USC and UCLA played twice this week, with UCLA winning 74-59 Wednesday at USC. The Bruins raced out to a big lead and cruised to the victory. This one was much more difficult for UCLA. The game was tied at 62 with 5:34 left, and UCLA was clinging to a 67-65 lead with1:45 left. UCLA made four of six free throws in the final 45 seconds. Canada had an offensive rebound with 15 seconds left to secure the win.

UCLA won its fourth consecutive game and extended its home win streak to 23 games overall and 15 in a row against Pac-12 opponents, dating back to last season.

BIG PICTURE

USC doesn’t have to play UCLA again this season unless it’s in the Pac-12 Tournament. The Trojans can feel more confident about playing much better against one of the best teams in the country.

UCLA is bolstered by a week of two victories over the Trojans. USC kept making runs, but UCLA always responded and found a way to win in a nailbiter.

QUOTE OF THE GAME

“We definitely took a step in the right direction on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively. There were a couple of 50-50 balls here and there. UCLA attempted 33 free throws. We attempted eight. I thought we were pretty aggressive going to the basket. You’re going to have those nights,” said USC coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke on improvements from the last game

STAT OF THE GAME

40: The number of minutes played by Jordin Canada, who asked for a substitute but was denied her request. Close called a timeout instead to give Canada a breather.

“Really, the answer was no,” Close said with a laugh. “You can’t have a sub.”

UP NEXT

USC returns to the Galen Center to host Arizona and Arizona State on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The Trojans’ will try to get back on track at home, where their last win came against Colorado one month ago.

UCLA will try to keep its consecutive home streak going with two more games at home, against Arizona State and Arizona. With another two wins, the Bruins could position themselves to move back into the top-10 in the AP poll.

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