The USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins resume their rivalry Sunday night, doing battle at Galen Center in a matchup of two teams 1-1 in the Pac-10 conference. This is the first game of 2011 for both teams, who both haven't played since December 31. The Trojans have beaten the Bruins in each of their last three meetings.
Both USC and UCLA split with the Washington schools last week, beating the Cougars and losing to the Huskies. The rivalry between the two teams has been even in head-to-head matchups over the last nine years, with both the Trojans and Bruins winning 10 games apiece. While the Trojans have won three straight meetings overall, UCLA has beaten USC in three of four meetings at Galen Center.
Sophomores Reeves Nelson (15.0 points, 8.1 rebounds per game) and Tyler Honeycutt (14.6 points, 7.6 rebounds) lead the way for the Bruins, who won six straight games before falling to Washington nine days ago. Nikola Vucevic leads the Trojans in both scoring (15.9 points per game) and rebounds (10.0 per game), but the player to watch for USC is Jio Fontan. The junior transfer from Fordham is averaging 14.4 points in five games. While USC is 3-2 in Fontan's five games, their two losses are a two-point loss at Allen Fieldhouse in Kansas and an overtime loss to the best team in the conference, Washington.
The 7:30 p.m. PST game will be televised on Fox Sports West, with Steve Physioc and Steve Kerr calling the game and Rebecca Haarlow on the sideline. This is the first of two scheduled meetings this season between UCLA and USC, with the two teams facing off again on February 2 at Pauley Pavilion.