Men's Basketball Clobbers Cal St-Fullerton, 78-63

Dec 11, 2002

By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Rory O'Neil scored a career-high 22 points and USC defeated Cal State-Fullerton 78-63 Wednesday night to snap atwo-game losing streak.

The Trojans (3-3) held on to a halftime lead after blowing leads at thebreak in their previous two losses.

The game was close for the first 10 minutes until USC used a 28-16 run toend the half ahead 41-29 in front of 2,096 at the Sports Arena. The Trojansshot 52 percent, much better than the 33 percent they managed in their twoprevious losses.

Robert Hutchinson, who missed Saturday's loss to then-No. 15 Missouri with asprained ankle, tied his career-high with 17 points. He made his first sevenshots of the game and hit all three of his 3-point attempts. The Trojans hit 103-pointers to Fullerton's four.

Desmon Farmer added 13 points, giving him double figure-scoring in all sixof USC's games.

Ralphy Holmes scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half for the Titans(1-5), who have lost three in a row. They were playing USC for the first timeand fell to 2-17 against Pac-10 schools.

Pape Sow added 18 points in a game attended by three NBA scouts, includingones from the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers. The Titans committed 25turnovers.

Fullerton led by four points early in the game, which was tied three timesin the first half.

Hutchinson sparked the Trojans' big run by scoring eight consecutive pointsin the spurt that gave USC its first double-digit lead of the game. Holmesscored 12 of his points during USC's run.

The Trojans' hot shooting continued in the second half, when they maintainedat least a 20-point lead for much of the way. They had 12 steals and 22turnovers in the game.

USC opened with a 20-7 run, including four 3-pointers, to take a 61-36 lead.

O'Neil showed off his inside-outside game, hitting two straight 3-pointers.The 6-foot-11 sophomore fouled out with 3:36 remaining. His previous high was14 points against Stanford last season.

Fullerton outscored USC 15-8 to get to 69-51 with six minutes left in itsonly consistent scoring run of the second half.

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