PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (ABC4 Sports) – BYU trimmed an 18-point deficit to six in the final five minutes, but could not complete the comeback in an 82-76 loss to USC in Wednesday’s first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Boogie Ellis scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half, handing BYU (3-2) its second loss of the season.

Spencer Johnson scored 18 points to lead BYU, which missed 13 of 18 shots to start the second half as USC made its move out of the break.

“Congratulations to USC,” said BYU head coach Mark Pope. “They are a good team. They are long and skilled. Boogie Ellis was absolutely terrific tonight, we just couldn’t find an answer for him. I am proud of our guys effort in the end, trying to hang in there. I know we are all disappointed by how we played today. We will play better tomorrow.”

The 27 points tied a career high for Ellis, who made all five of his shots and 11 of 13 free throws after halftime for the Trojans (4-1). With the guard leading the way, USC made 18 of 29 shots (62.1%) after the break, turning a 31-30 halftime lead into a double-digit margin by the 13-minute mark and ultimately an 18-point bulge with about five minutes left.

From there, the Trojans had some trouble protecting that cushion — and the ball — as the Cougars tried to rally. BYU got a 3-pointer from Rudi Williams followed by an immediate one from Jaxson Robinson after a 5-second violation on USC, then Robinson struck again from the right corner to suddenly cut the deficit to 75-67 with 1:38 left.

But the Cougars, while continuing to keep the pressure on, got no closer until the final 15 seconds when the outcome was largely decided.

Drew Peterson added 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Trojans.

Robinson added 16 while Williams had 15 points for BYU.

The Cougars will face Butler in Thursday’s consolation bracket at 4:30 p.m.