Trojans Close Out Season With Win Over Beavers, 78-68
March 5, 2005
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Errick Craven had a career-high 30 points in his lastcollege game and USC ended an otherwise tumultuous season with a 78-68 win overOregon State on Saturday night.
Craven, who was one of six seniors playing their final game for the Trojans(12-17, 5-13 Pacific 10 Conference), surpassed his previous best of 29 points,scored against Washington State in 2001, his freshman season.
Jeff McMillan, another Trojan senior, added 20 points and 12 rebounds,keying a USC dominance inside that resulted in a 51-35 rebounding advantage anda 28-4 edge in second-chance points.
Oregon State (16-13, 8-10) was led by David Lucas' 21 points, while NickDeWitz added 15.
The Beavers, who by tip-off were already locked into the No. 5 seed for nextweek's Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles, finished the regular season with theirhighest win total since winning 22 games in 1989-99, but also finished with an0-9 road record in conference play.
USC did not qualify for the Pac-10 tournament for the first time in theeight seasons it has been held.
USC never led in the first half but finished with a 17-6 run to tie the gameat 34 at the break. The Trojans then went on a 22-10 scoring spurt over thefirst eight minutes of the second half to take control.
Oregon State closed to within four, 59-55, on Chris Stephens' four-pointplay with 8:58 left, but the Trojans answered with an 11-3 run to regain adouble-digit lead that they kept for the remainder of the game.
USC finishes a season in which head coach Henry Bibby was fired four gamesinto his ninth season at the school on Dec. 6, then saw Bibby's replacement,former Utah coach Rick Majerus, resign from the same post five days afteraccepting what he called his 'dream job.'
On Jan. 14, USC hired former Iowa State and Chicago Bulls coach Tim Floyd totake over the program next season while keeping this year's team under thedirection of interim coach Jim Saia. The Trojans had a 10-15 record under Saiaand finished last in the Pac-10.
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