No. 13 USC Defeats BYU

Dec. 23, 2000

By GORDON SAKAMOTO
Associated Press Writer

LAIE, Hawaii - USC took one half to recover from anovertime loss to Mississippi.

Sam Clancy and Brian Scalabrine each scored 26 points to help No. 13Southern California rally from a 20-point deficit to defeat BYU 70-67 Saturdayin the third-place game of the Yahoo! Sports Invitational.

The Trojans (9-1), who dropped a heartbreaking 84-83 overtime loss to No. 24Mississippi on Friday, appeared to be headed for their second straight defeat.

The Cougars (7-4) led 41-23 at halftime and USC coach Henry Bibby hadalready been ejected after receiving his second technical foul with 2:53 leftin the first half.

'We didn't come ready to play in the first half,' Bibby said. 'We had aheart-to-heart talk at halftime. We challenged the guys to play to theirpotential. We wanted to see what they were made of.'

After falling behind 43-23 just 13 seconds after the start of the secondhalf, Clancy and Scalabrine went to work, scoring 35 of USC's 47 second-halfpoints.

Two free throws by Scalabrine tied it at 64 with 3:50 left and Clancy putthe Trojans ahead for the first time with a basket 45 seconds later. USC neverrelinquished that lead.

'I thought we came out in the second half with intensity,' Bibby said.'We pressured them and got them in foul trouble. That's what we were trying todo.'

David Bluthenthal added a pair of free throws and Terrell Lyday counteredwith a 3-pointer for BYU to make it a one-point game, but Brandon Granvilleclosed it out with a driving layup with seven seconds left.

Trent Whiting's 3-point attempt from the corner fell short.

After shooting 27 percent (8-for-29) in the first half, the Trojans shot 61percent (14-of-23) in the second.

Mekeli Wesley led the Cougars with 19 points, 15 coming in the first half.But he sat out more than 10 minutes of the second half after picking up hisfourth foul less than two minutes into the second half. Lyday added 17 points.

'We played a great first half, but when Mekeli Wesley got those two quickfouls early in the second half, we lost our physical presence and our abilityto go inside,' coach Steve Cleveland said. 'That was to lose our composure.

'When Mekeli went out of the game, we didn't attack offensively and it hurtus offensively.'

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