Trojans Destroy Rhode Island, 82-54

Dec. 4, 2001

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By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Freshman Errick Craven scored 20 points, including five3-pointers, in his second start of the season and Southern California defeatedRhode Island 82-54 Tuesday night.

Craven's career-high points came three days after he made his first start ina win at Bradley. He had four 3s in the second half, when the Trojansmaintained a double-digit lead.

USC started an all-underclassmen lineup - three freshmen, a sophomore and ajunior. They built a 16-point lead before David Bluthenthal, Sam Clancy, JerryDupree and Brandon Granville came in with 9:52 remaining in the first half.

Desmon Farmer had 14 of his 20 points in the first half after being the onlyTrojan who didn't play at Bradley on Saturday as punishment for not practicingwell. He hit four 3-pointers, all in the first half, when USC's largest leadwas 16 points.

The Trojans (4-1) had their best 3-point shooting performance after hittingjust 24 percent from long-range in their first four games. They also held RhodeIsland below the 58 points other opponents had averaged.

The Rams (3-3) have yet to shoot better than 40 percent this season. DustinHellenga had 11 points.

They never got closer than 13 points in the second half in the only othermeeting between the schools since Rhode Island's win in the 1995 RainbowClassic in Hawaii.

Once USC's veterans entered the game in the first half, their rust wasobvious as Bluthenthal turned the ball over right away. The Rams gotconsecutive 3-pointers from Steve Mello to close to 25-17 before the Trojanssteadied themselves.

Clancy scored five points in a row and Bluthenthal hit one of USC's six3-pointers in the half for a 33-17 lead.

A rash of USC mistakes, including two turnovers, allowed the Rams to score10 in a row and get to 33-27 before the Trojans scored the final seven pointsto lead 40-27 at halftime.

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