Thomas, Dugalic lead UCLA women past USC in Pac-12 tourney

Mar 2, 2022, 6:30 AM | Updated: Mar 3, 2022, 10:46 am
UCLA head coach Cori Close motions towards the court during the second half of an NCAA college bask...

UCLA head coach Cori Close motions towards the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against the Southern California in the first round of the Pac-12 women's tournament Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

(AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ilmar’l Thomas scored 18 points and Angela Dugalic came off the bench to post a double-double to help UCLA pull away for a 73-60 victory over USC in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament on Wednesday night.

Thomas sank 8 of 14 shots from the floor for the seventh-seeded Bruins (14-11). Dugalic, a sophomore, pitched in with 13 points and 12 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and the third of her career. Charisma Osborne scored 14, while Jaelynn Penn contributed 11 points and seven boards.

Thomas had 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the first half to spark UCLA to a 33-26 lead at intermission. The Bruins led despite shooting 33% overall and hitting just 1 of 10 from 3-point range. UCLA made up for it by using nine offensive rebounds for a 13-0 edge in second-chance points.

The Bruins maintained their lead in the third quarter until USC’s Jordan Sanders sank two free throws with 3 seconds left to knot the score at 46. UCLA took a 52-48 lead on back-to-back baskets by Penn and Chantel Horvat. After Jordyn Jenkins made the first of two free throws for the Trojans, Penn connected from beyond the arc to ignite a 21-11 game-ending run.

Sanders topped the Trojans (12-16) with 18 points. Freshman Rayah Marshall added 17 points and 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double.

UCLA swept the season series and has beaten the Trojans six straight times. UCLA is 4-0 all-time against USC in the Pac-12 tourney. The Bruins’ win evens the all-time series at 50-50. UCLA beat Stanford 85-76 in overtime in 2006 for its only conference tourney title.

UCLA advances to play second-seeded Oregon on Thursday.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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This story has been updated to correct the last name of Dugalic.

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Thomas, Dugalic lead UCLA women past USC in Pac-12 tourney