No. 4 USC falls to No. 1 UCLA in Westwood

first_imgThe annual crosstown showdown started out in a tight battle, but USC could not hang with the Bruins in a game that they dominated. The No. 4 Trojans traveled to Westwood looking to upset the No. 1 ranked Bruins. The Trojans lost their upset bid by a score of 11-6.Rain could not deter the Trojan faithful from coming to support, and a sold-out stadium overflowed into the upper levels of a nearby parking structure.Early on, the action was fierce. UCLA opened with an offense barrage, but sophomore goalie McQuin Baron opened with three straight saves.The Trojans got on the board first though with a dynamic backhanded goal. On the next possession driver Blake Edwards would score and give the Trojans a two-goal lead. The Bruins would answer on their next two possessions to tie the game at two goals apiece halfway through the first period.UCLA scored twice more in a first period that saw six total goals.The Men of Troy struggled to get their offense going in the second period, failing to convert back-to-back power plays. UCLA goalkeeper junior Garrett Danner would finish the game with 19 saves, with 10 of them coming in the first half.Danner was a force USC could not reckon with and Danner set his new career high in saves.The Trojans were held scoreless in the second period and gave up two goals to fall behind 6-2 at halftime. The first half was a story of missed opportunities for the Trojans, who failed to convert on any of their five power plays, while UCLA scored on both of theirs.Despite the scores for UCLA, Baron had seven saves in the first half on his way to recording nine saves.The Trojans would open the second half winning the opening sprint, but UCLA sophomore Max Irving would net his second goal of the game giving the Bruins a 7-2 lead.Sophomore Mihajlo Milicevic would end the Trojans scoring drought of over 10 minutes with a goal three minutes into the third period. The Trojans’ momentum would not last long though, with UCLA junior Ryder Roberts answering the goal to maintain the five-goal lead for the Bruins.Two more goals before the end of the third period put UCLA 10 goals up. Sophomore Matteo Morelli made it 10-4 to end the third quarter.The story of the game could be summed up in a Trojan power play shot in the fourth quarter that entered the goal but did not hit the net and was saved by UCLA.The Bruins would go one to score another goal in the fourth period to finish with 11.Blake Edwards converted a five-meter penalty shot for USC with less than two minutes remaining to make it 11-5.Freshman Chase Koplow hit the game’s final goal for the Trojans as time expired to take the score to its final at     11-6.The Bruins were led by Roberts who finished the day with four goals.USC’s was led by two goals from Blake Edwards and one each for Lachlan Edwards, Milicevic and Morelli on a day when the Trojans’s high-powered offense was stopped in its tracks.The Trojans’ record moves to 18-5 overall and 6-3 in MPSF conference play. The loss is the Trojans second of the year to the Bruins with the first coming in the finals of the SoCal invitational by a score of 10-9.Next week, the Trojans will fight for the MPSF championship in a tournament hosted at the Uytengsu Aquatic Center.last_img read more

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Lakers decline Jordan Hill’s team option

first_imgWhat started out with elation soon turned into dread.• Video: Nance talks about reaction to old tweetThe Lakers drafted Wyoming senior power forward Larry Nance. Jr on Thursday with the 27th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. But as he processed all that excitement, Nance Jr. estimated it took only two minutes before a tweet he posted three years ago about Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault charge in 2003 went viral. Nance Jr. soon admitted “it was definitely something I wish I could take back.”“I thought I was about to throw up,” Nance Jr. said on Monday at his introductory press conference at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I felt sick to my stomach. I embarrassed myself and felt so bad about what I said. I wanted to apologize to him right away.”So Nance Jr. tracked Bryant’s phone number and wrote out a formal apology addressing him as “sir” and “Mr. Bryant.” Nance Jr. delivered the apology to Bryant on Friday. Nance Jr. then recalled Bryant offering a similar response to what he said on Saturday with ESPN’s Jemele Hill at the BET Experience at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. Then, Bryant called the incident “water under the bridge.”“I immediately felt my stomach release,” Nance Jr. said. “It was definitely something I’ll learn from.”That helped Nance Jr. “sleep like a rock” over the weekend, something that starkly contrasted to his feelings on what Bryant’s reaction would entail.“Terrified. You hear all the stories about how Kobe, or Mr. Bryant, is so intense and just always on edge,” Nance Jr. said. “I was nervous to send him a long message and then just get an, ‘Okay,’ or not a response at all. I’m just so glad he handled that in the manner he did.” Second, the Lakers currently have four power forwards on their roster, including Julius Randle, Larry Nance. Jr, Tarik Black and Ryan Kelly. That does not account for Ed Davis, who has declined his $1.1 million player option for a longer deal. The Lakers want to retain Davis, but that depends on what offers he receives elsewhere. Should the Lakers strike out with any of those big-name free agents, the Lakers could still re-sign Hill as a free agent at a much lower price tag. But it remains to be seen whether that will happen.Despite Hill posting career highs in points (12), rebounds (7.9), starts (57) and minutes (26.8), the Lakers became frustrated with his inconsistency. The Lakers and Hill both attributed those struggles to adapting to heavy playing time and struggles with his diet.The Lakers acquired Hill from the Houston Rockets in 2012 as part of a mid-season trade involving Derek Fisher.Apology accepted With one more day awaiting before free agency begins, the Lakers made one move that frees up cap space to pursue a coveted star.The Lakers declined to pick up a $9 million team option to retain Jordan Hill for the 2015-16 season, according to league sources familiar with the situation. The Lakers have leaned that way for numerous reasons since the 2014-15 season ended.First, the Lakers will prioritize targeting front-court players in free agency, including Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Memphis’ Marc Gasol, the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, Cleveland’s Kevin Love and Detroit’s Greg Monroe. Hill’s departure gives the Lakers about $23 million in spending power to fill out their roster.• Video: Analyzing 2015 draft and possible free agents center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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