Trojans Rout Explorers 89-63

Dec. 21, 2002

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nick Curtis scored a career-high 21 points to lead Southern California in a 89-63 rout of La Salle Saturday night at the Sports Arena.

Roydell Smiley added 18 points, Errick Craved scored 16 and Rory O'Neil had 13 for the Trojans (4-3), who had not played in 10 days.

Gary Neal scored 21 points for the Explorers (3-4), who lost their third straight.

The teams were tied at 22 when USC went on a 8-0 run to take a 30-22 lead with 4:52 left in the first half.

La Salle's Rasheed Quadri made two jump shots to narrow the deficit to 30-26 but USC responded with another 8-0 run to build a 38-26 halftime lead.

The Explorers closed to within 10 with 16:55 to play but failed to score for the next 4:19, and did not make a basket for a span of 5:23 later in the second half. The Trojans led by as many as 31 points.

USC guard Robert Hutchinson suffered a sprained ankle while fighting for a loose ball and was carried off the floor with 13:21 left in the first half. Hutchinson leads the Trojans in assists.

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