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College basketball: No. 13 UCLA women turn back USC, 71-67

UCLA forward Monique Billings, shown during a game against Washington earlier this season, had another double-double in the Bruins' victory over USC on Sunday.
(Logan Riely / Associated Press)
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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.

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“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.

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

Men

at No. 22 Xavier 86, Georgetown 75: Edmond Sumner overcame a painful left shoulder and led a second-half surge that that allowed the Musketeers to end their longest losing streak in three years.

Xavier (14-5, 4-3) had dropped three straight — all against ranked Big East teams. The Musketeers watched a 12-point lead to slip away in the second half before their injured point guard frustrated the Hoyas (10-10, 1-6) again. Sumner had a career-high 28 points in an 81-76 win at Georgetown on Dec. 31.

Sumner wore a support on his injured left shoulder and sat on the bench grimacing late in the first half. He had a jumper, a three-point play and a pair of free throws during a 12-3 run that put Xavier in control 70-61. He finished with 14 points.

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Trevon Bluiett led Xavier with 24 points. J.P. Macura added 20. Rodney Pryor scored 23 for Georgetown, which lost for the sixth time in seven games.

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