Saturday, May 25, 2024

Boogie Ellis’ career night leads USC to upset of No. 8 UCLA

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  • UCLA’s Tyger Campbell, right, and USC’s Boogie Ellis scramble for...

    UCLA’s Tyger Campbell, right, and USC’s Boogie Ellis scramble for a loose ball during the first half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Kobe Johnson shoots during the first half of their...

    USC’s Kobe Johnson shoots during the first half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Drew Peterson, front, scrambles for the loose ball against...

    USC’s Drew Peterson, front, scrambles for the loose ball against UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. as UCLA head coach Mick Cronin looks on during the first half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. grabs a rebound in front of...

    UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. grabs a rebound in front of USC’s Joshua Morgan (24) during the first half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC head coach Andy Enfield watches from the sidelines during...

    USC head coach Andy Enfield watches from the sidelines during the first half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu drives to the basket during the first...

    USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu drives to the basket during the first half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Amari Bailey reacts after a foul during the first...

    UCLA’s Amari Bailey reacts after a foul during the first half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis shoots over UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. during...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis shoots over UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. during the first half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to lead USC to a 77-64 win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Amari Bailey passes the ball to a teammate during...

    UCLA’s Amari Bailey passes the ball to a teammate during the first half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. reaches for a rebound during the...

    UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. reaches for a rebound during the first half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin reacts to a play during the...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin reacts to a play during the first half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Malik Thomas, center, battles to keep possession of the...

    USC’s Malik Thomas, center, battles to keep possession of the ball as UCLA’s Jaylen Clark, left, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. defend during the first half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Amari Bailey, left, drives to the basket during the...

    UCLA’s Amari Bailey, left, drives to the basket during the first half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC quarterback Caleb Williams reacts to the crowd during a...

    USC quarterback Caleb Williams reacts to the crowd during a timeout in the first half of the Trojans’ basketball game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Drew Peterson, left, is fouled during the first half...

    USC’s Drew Peterson, left, is fouled during the first half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin reacts to a play during the...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin reacts to a play during the first half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Tyger Campbell, right, and USC’s Boogie Ellis scramble for...

    UCLA’s Tyger Campbell, right, and USC’s Boogie Ellis scramble for a loose ball during the first half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s David Singleton celebrates after making a 3-point shot during...

    UCLA’s David Singleton celebrates after making a 3-point shot during the first half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Drew Peterson shoots over UCLA’s Jaylen Clark during the...

    USC’s Drew Peterson shoots over UCLA’s Jaylen Clark during the first half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • Players on the USC bench react to a basket during...

    Players on the USC bench react to a basket during the first half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Adem Bona, left, jogs down the court next to...

    UCLA’s Adem Bona, left, jogs down the court next to Tyger Campbell after being poked in the eye during the first half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Kobe Johnson intercepts the ball during the first half...

    USC’s Kobe Johnson intercepts the ball during the first half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Drew Peterson, left, drives to the basket as UCLA’s...

    USC’s Drew Peterson, left, drives to the basket as UCLA’s Jaylen Clark (0) and Adem Bona, right, defend during the first half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Kobe Johnson, left, steals the ball during the first...

    USC’s Kobe Johnson, left, steals the ball during the first half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Joshua Morgan drives to the basket between UCLA’s Jaime...

    USC’s Joshua Morgan drives to the basket between UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., left, and David Singleton during the first half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin looks down at the floor during...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin looks down at the floor during the first half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., left, loses the ball as USC’s...

    UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., left, loses the ball as USC’s Boogie Ellis defends during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. loses the ball as USC’s Kobe...

    UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. loses the ball as USC’s Kobe Johnson defends during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. USC won, 77-64. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis shoots over UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. during...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis shoots over UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Amari Bailey drives to the basket during the second...

    UCLA’s Amari Bailey drives to the basket during the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. chases a ball as it heads...

    UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. chases a ball as it heads out of bounds during the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Amari Bailey, left, reaches for a rebound during the...

    UCLA’s Amari Bailey, left, reaches for a rebound during the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Drew Peterson celebrates after scoring during the second half...

    USC’s Drew Peterson celebrates after scoring during the second half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC fans celebrate in the stands during the second half...

    USC fans celebrate in the stands during the second half of their game against comeback win against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin shows his frustration during a timeout...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin shows his frustration during a timeout in the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Amari Bailey drives to the basket as USC’s Joshua...

    UCLA’s Amari Bailey drives to the basket as USC’s Joshua Morgan defends during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Kobe Johnson (0) grabs a rebounds over UCLA’s Jaime...

    USC’s Kobe Johnson (0) grabs a rebounds over UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. (24) during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., right, shoots over USC’s Drew Peterson...

    UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., right, shoots over USC’s Drew Peterson during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Drew Peterson blocks a shot by UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez...

    USC’s Drew Peterson blocks a shot by UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Amari Bailey sits on the court after a foul...

    UCLA’s Amari Bailey sits on the court after a foul during the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin barks at an official during the...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin barks at an official during the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin has words for the officials as...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin has words for the officials as Amari Bailey holds him back during the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after making a 3-point shot as...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after making a 3-point shot as UCLA’s Amari Bailey looks down at the court during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to lead the Trojans to a 77-64 win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after making a 3-point shot as...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after making a 3-point shot as UCLA’s Amari Bailey looks on during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to lead the Trojans to a 77-64 win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after scoring during the second half...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after scoring during the second half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to lead the Trojans to a 77-64 win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after scoring during the second half...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after scoring during the second half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to lead the Trojans to a 77-64 win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. drives to the basket as USC’s...

    UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. drives to the basket as USC’s Drew Peterson defends during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu, center, and UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., left,...

    USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu, center, and UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., left, scramble for a loose ball during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu, center, and UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., left,...

    USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu, center, and UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., left, scramble for a loose ball during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis grabs a rebound over UCLA’s Kenneth Nwuba...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis grabs a rebound over UCLA’s Kenneth Nwuba during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis blocks a shot by UCLA’s Tyger Campbell...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis blocks a shot by UCLA’s Tyger Campbell during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. goes down hard on the court...

    UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. goes down hard on the court during the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin reacts from the sidelines during the...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin reacts from the sidelines during the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Drew Peterson, right, blocks a shot by UCLA’s Adem...

    USC’s Drew Peterson, right, blocks a shot by UCLA’s Adem Bona during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Drew Peterson, right, blocks a shot by UCLA’s Adem...

    USC’s Drew Peterson, right, blocks a shot by UCLA’s Adem Bona during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s Adem Bona reacts after a foul during the second...

    UCLA’s Adem Bona reacts after a foul during the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin has words for an official during...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin has words for an official during a timeout in the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA’s David Singleton drives to the basket as USC’s Drew...

    UCLA’s David Singleton drives to the basket as USC’s Drew Peterson defends during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis, left, grabs a rebound during the second...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis, left, grabs a rebound during the second half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC coach Andy Enfield watches from the sideleines during the...

    USC coach Andy Enfield watches from the sideleines during the second half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis shoots a 3-pointer over UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis shoots a 3-pointer over UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. during the second half on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after scoring during the second half...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates after scoring during the second half of their game against UCLA on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to lead the Trojans to a 77-64 win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin and the rest of the bench...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin and the rest of the bench watch during the late moments of the second half in their loss to USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell looks on late in the...

    UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell looks on late in the second half of their game against USC on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • UCLA coach Mick Cronin reacts toward USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu after...

    UCLA coach Mick Cronin reacts toward USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu after their game on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis (5) celebrates with teammates after they defeated...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis (5) celebrates with teammates after they defeated No. 8 UCLA, 77-64, on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to ignite the Trojans’ comeback win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis (5) celebrates with teammates after they defeated...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis (5) celebrates with teammates after they defeated No. 8 UCLA, 77-64, on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to ignite the Trojans’ comeback win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates with teammates and documents the occasion...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis celebrates with teammates and documents the occasion with a cell phone video after they defeated No. 8 UCLA, 77-64, on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to ignite the Trojans’ comeback win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu, left, and Tre White USC’s Boogie Ellis...

    USC’s Vincent Iwuchukwu, left, and Tre White USC’s Boogie Ellis (5) celebrate after they defeated No. 8 UCLA, 77-64, on Thursday night at the Galen Center. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis (5) celebrates with teammates after they defeated...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis (5) celebrates with teammates after they defeated No. 8 UCLA, 77-64, on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to ignite the Trojans’ comeback win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

  • USC’s Boogie Ellis high-fives fans as he leaves the court...

    USC’s Boogie Ellis high-fives fans as he leaves the court after they defeated No. 8 UCLA, 77-64, on Thursday night at the Galen Center. Ellis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half to ignite the Trojans’ comeback win. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

LOS ANGELES — Boogie Ellis had his chances to score USC an upset win over UCLA three weeks ago. But an offensive foul and a missed attempt at the buzzer left the senior guard and the Trojans short.

With USC facing a double-digit deficit at halftime of the rematch with the eighth-ranked Bruins, Ellis was determined not to allow history to repeat itself.

Ellis scored a career-high 31 points, 27 coming in the second half as he matched the Bruins’ output in the final 20 minutes. And instead of seeing his team fall short, Ellis received a hero’s welcome from the 9,605 at Galen Center as he exited in the final seconds of USC’s 77-64 victory.

“I felt like the (previous) UCLA game was on me,” Ellis said. “I’m glad that I was able to help us get this win for our team.”

Ellis was everywhere USC (15-6 overall, 7-3 in Pac-12) needed him to be in the second half. He clenched his fists at his side after a step-back 3-pointer cut UCLA’s lead, once as large as 13, to one. He stole the ball minutes later from Tyger Campbell and passed ahead to Reese Dixon-Waters, who sidestepped a Campbell swipe for the go-ahead basket. And an Ellis 3-pointer pushed the one-point edge to four.

When the Bruins threatened again in the final minutes, Ellis stepped back for another jumper, then blocked Campbell from behind. And he delivered the kill shot with a 3-pointer as he fell to his back, making it a nine-point game with 1:25 to play.

Other Trojans had their moments. Drew Peterson scored 16 and had the first five points of USC’s game-flipping 25-3 run. Freshman Tre White hit a couple of crafty shots beyond his years. Kobe Johnson hit a couple of 3-pointers and played suffocating defense with three steals.

But Ellis, who had six assists and no turnovers, was the fuel as USC outscored the Bruins 52-27 in the second half.

“Me and Drew told the guys, we’ve been in this position before,” Ellis said. “We told them we can’t panic. We’re going to come out and we’re going to hit them in the mouth in the second half. Forget what happened in the first half.”

As much as the offense stole headlines, the Trojans’ defense again left UCLA (17-4, 8-2) in a state of disarray in the second half, much as it was three weeks ago at Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins were all kinds of discombobulated during an 18-2 Trojan run, unable to solve the USC defense. UCLA went 1 for 10 from the floor, throwing up awkward shots when drives were stopped in the paint. Veterans threw the ball away, expecting teammates to cut one way when they went the other.

And the Trojans rushed UCLA off the 3-point line. After the Bruins went 6 for 11 from behind the arc in the first half, USC held UCLA to 2 for 7 in the second.

“We really started to hard hedge the ball screens, try to put pressure on their guards so Campbell couldn’t get in the lane,” USC coach Andy Enfield said.

A David Singleton baseline jumper ended the Trojans’ advantage, and an Amari Bailey put-back layup made it a one-possession game as the teams prepared for a fight across the last seven minutes.

But the Trojans – who improved to 10-1 at home this season – controlled both ends of the court in the second half, holding UCLA to an 8-for-27 mark from the floor while shooting 55.6% themselves.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 15 points and Singleton and Campbell added 14 points each for the Bruins, who lost their second game in a row.

At first, it seemed like the rematch would follow the script of the first game. UCLA had a third-chance basket on the opening possession and Adem Bona turned a missed free throw into a dunk, setting the tone for a half in which the Bruins had 10 second-chance points to USC’s one.

USC went 7:26 without a field goal, going 0 for 7 from the floor in that period. A brief six-point lead for the Trojans quickly disappeared as UCLA rattled off an 11-0 run. Singleton hit a couple of 3-pointers, the second giving the Bruins a 12-point lead. The guard bounced back up the court, eyes closed as he spun with jubilation.

The joy would be short-lived, though, as USC orchestrated a second-half comeback that this time stuck and reignited the Trojans’ hopes for a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“We needed a big statement win,” Enfield said. “We almost had it at Pauley three weeks ago. Our team is playing very well, they’ve improved a lot. That’s what we like to see. It’s fun to see the progression of teams. This team, we weren’t sure what we had, especially after we lost on opening night. So we’re very proud of our guys hanging in there and improving.”

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