USC Stops Skid, Defeats Arizona State 82-71

Feb. 12, 2005

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Rory O'Neil scored 19 points, Nick Young got 16 of his 18points in the second half and Southern California beat Arizona State 82-71Saturday night.

The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for the Trojans - just astheir 98-94 victory at Tempe did on Jan. 14. But the Trojans are still last inthe conference, 1{ games behind Oregon, and are in danger of finishing at thebottom of the Pac-10 for the first time since 1995.

USC (10-14, 3-10 Pac-10) was 10-for-18 from 3-point range against a defensethat had held opponents to a cumulative .296 percentage from behind the arc -the lowest percentage in the Pac-10. The Trojans entered the game averaging aconference-leading 7.61 3-point baskets against all opponents.

It's the first time the Sun Devils (16-9, 5-8 Pac-10) have been swept byboth USC and UCLA since the 2000-01 season, and the eighth time since ArizonaState joined the conference in 1978-79.

Steve Moore, whose eight 3-pointers in Thursday's 95-76 loss at UCLA werejust two shy of Stevin Smith's school record, led Arizona State with 19 pointsafter scoring a career-high 31 against the Bruins. Last season, Moore totaledjust 17 points during the Sun Devils' two-game trip to Los Angeles.

Kevin Kruger had 17 points for the Sun Devils. Ike Diogu, the Pac-10 scoringand rebounding leader, had 12 points and six boards. He has scored in doubledigits in all of his 84 collegiate games.

Young, who picked up two fouls in the first 4:52 and played only fiveminutes in the first half, scored 10 points during a 7-minute stretch to helpincrease USC's three-point halftime lead to 58-48 with 11:04 to play.

The Sun Devils cut the margin to seven midway through the second half onMoore's 49th 3-pointer of the campaign, which eclipsed last season's total. TheTrojans increased the margin to 11 points 36 seconds later on a layup byO'Neil.

Arizona State responded with an 11-4 run, capped by three free throws byKruger, who was fouled by Young on a 3-point attempt with 3:23 remaining. Butfour points was as close as the Sun Devils got, as Lodrick Stewart and GabrielPruitt drained 3-pointers and the Trojans clinched it at the free throw line.

After Dwayne Shackleford's 3-pointer gave the Trojans their onlydouble-digit lead of the first half, 27-17, Kruger scored his first nine pointsin the final 5:22 of the half to help narrow the gap to 40-37 by intermission.

Playing in front of a sparse crowd that included Memphis Grizzlies presidentJerry West, Diogu had four points, four rebounds and three turnovers beforepicking up his third foul on an offensive charge with 3:09 left in the half.The Pac-10 scoring and rebounding leader averaged 13.5 points in the two gamesagainst USC.

The Trojans are 8-12 since Henry Bibby was fired as head coach on Dec. 6.

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