March 3, 2012 in Sports

Motum’s 27 points leads Cougars past USC

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Washington State forward Brock Motum (12) shoots as Southern California guard Maurice Jones (10) and center James Blasczyk defend during the second half Saturday in Los Angeles. Washington State won 43-38.
(Full-size photo)

Brock Motum scored 16 of his 27 points in the second half and Washington State withstood a late rally to beat Southern California 43-38 on Saturday.

Motum hit 12 of 21 shots as the Cougars (15-15, 7-11 Pac-12) held a 30-10 scoring advantage in the paint and 36-25 rebounding edge in picking up just their second conference road win.

Maurice Jones scored 11 points to lead USC (6-25, 1-17), which closed the regular season with a ninth straight loss to sit at the bottom of the league standings.

The Trojans trailed by 17 points when they came alive late. Alexis Moore capped a 16-2 run with a corner 3-pointer to pull the Trojans within 41-38 with 1:57 remaining.

Washington State went without a basket for the final 9:09 of the contest.

USC had a chance to tie but Greg Allen’s 3-pointer from the wing came up short and bounced out of bounds. The Trojans were forced to foul and Reggie Moore hit a pair of free throws for the final margin.

The Trojans had no answer for Motum. The 6-foot-10 center scored the Cougars’ first 13 points of the second half while hitting all six of his shots, giving him more points than USC had as a team.

Everything was falling for Motum during the 13-5 run that pushed the lead to 34-19. During one sequence, Motum circled on the way to the basket, was knocked off balance and managed to toss the ball in with an awkward scoop as he fell to the floor.

USC went scoreless for more than seven minutes to begin the game. The Trojans missed their first seven shots before Jones finally hit a 3-pointer to end the drought.

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