Beavers Close Out Season Falling To USC, 79-45
March 2, 2002
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - Sam Clancy scored 20 points and No. 19 SouthernCalifornia defeated Oregon State 79-45 Saturday to close out the regular seasonwith a split.
The Trojans (20-8) lost to No. 13 Oregon 67-65 on a last-second shotThursday night, costing them a share of the conference title.
They finished in a four-way tie for second with California, Stanford andArizona, all of whom finished 12-6.
The only thing at stake Saturday for the Trojans was a No. 4 seeding in nextweek's Pac-10 tournament at Staples Center. They got that and a first-roundmatchup Thursday against 17th-ranked Stanford (19-8).
USC completed its first consecutive 20-win seasons since the 1939 and 1940teams did so. Last year's team went 24-10, and reached the final eight of theNCAA tournament.
The Beavers (12-17, 4-14) ended the season with just four road victories andfailed to qualify for the eight-team Pac-10 tourney. They were held to theirlowest point total of the season.
Desmon Farmer added 17 points as USC beat Oregon State for the seventhconsecutive time at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, and 11th time in their last12 meetings.
Oregon State was never in it, falling behind 23-9 in the first nine minutes.The Beavers committed 13 turnovers and shot just 24 percent to trail 40-19 athalftime.
David Bluthenthal opened the second half with a 3-pointer, then Clancyscored six of USC's next eight for a 51-24 lead with 14:44 remaining.
Philip Ricci scored 10 of Oregon State's first 11 points of the second half,including five in a row when they trailed 53-30. He finished with 19 points.
Clancy's basket sparked a 23-6 run that increased USC's lead to 76-36 with3:05 left. Errick Craven added nine and Rory O'Neil had four in the spurt.
It was the final home game for seniors Clancy, Bluthenthal and guard BrandonGranville. Clancy departed first, with 2:56 remaining. Bluthenthal andGranville followed 16 seconds later to rousing cheers.