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Elijah Stewart scores 17 as USC beats Washington State 89-71

Washington State forward Robert Franks, right, is fouled by Southern California guard Jonah Mathews during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Kyusung Gong / AP)
Washington State forward Robert Franks, right, is fouled by Southern California guard Jonah Mathews during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Kyusung Gong / AP)

LOS ANGELES – Elijah Stewart 17 scored and Bennie Boatwright added 13 points to lead Southern California to an 89-71 victory over Washington State in a Pac-12 game on Sunday night.

After starting the season 6-0, WSU (8-6, 0-2) has lost six of its last eight games. The Cougars have lost five straight to USC (10-5, 1-1).

Nick Rakocevic scored 12 points and had nine rebounds, Jonah Mathews added 11 points and Jordan Usher scored 10 for the Trojans. Jordan McLaughlin, who came in averaging 7.8 assists per game (No. 5 in the nation), finished with 10 points and 11 assists on Sunday.

Malachi Flynn led the Cougars with 21 points and Carter Skaggs had 18.

USC never trailed, went on an 11-0 run that gave the Trojans a 13-point lead fewer than six minutes in and held the Cougars scoreless for a five-plus minutes in the opening half. Stewart capped the surge by converting two free throws with 14:18 remaining and USC led 17-4.

Chimezie Metz, USC’s leading scorer, was disqualified from the game after committing a flagrant foul against Skaggs with 5:43 left in the first half. Metz, averaging 18.6 points per game, left the game after scoring 7 points and with USC leading 33-19.

WSU immediately went on an 11-0 run and cut its deficit to three points following a basket by Flynn with 2:56 to go in the half. But the Trojans countered with an 8-2 run to end the half and built 41-31 lead at the break.

Stewart led USC with 10 points in the first half as the Trojans shot 43.2 percent. The Cougars shot 34.5 percent and were led by Robert Franks with 9 points.

WSU trimmed the lead to 52-44 after a 3-pointer by Flynn early in the second half, but Shaqquan Aaron’s 3-pointer highlighted a Trojans 17-2 run, which propelled USC to a 69-46 lead with 10 minutes to play. USC cruised from that point.

The Trojans, who outrebounded WSU 39-26, are 74-48 all-time against WSU.


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