Trojans Cut Down Cardinal

March 8, 2008

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Freshman O.J. Mayo scored 25 points, Taj Gibson added 20 points and 11 rebounds, and smaller Southern California dominated the backboards en route to a 77-64 victory over No. 7 Stanford on Saturday.

Dwight Lewis had 14 points and freshman Davon Jefferson added 11--six on his second and third 3-pointers of the season--as the Trojans (20-10, 11-7 Pac-10) won for the fifth time in six games as they try to secure an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament.

Kenny Brown scored a season-high 19 points, Robin Lopez added 16 and Brook Lopez had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Cardinal (24-6, 13-5), who lost their second straight.

Mayo and Keith Wilkinson had eight rebounds each and Jefferson added six, leading USC to a 47-32 rebounding advantage over a Stanford team that came in averaging 7.2 rebounds more than its opponents to rank second in the Pac-10.

The Cardinal had 23 offensive rebounds alone in a 52-46 victory over USC two months ago.

Perhaps still feeling the affects of Thursday night's 77-67 overtime loss at No. 3 UCLA in which it blew a 14-point lead, Stanford fell behind by 14 in the opening 6 1/2 minutes against USC.

The Cardinal weren't closer than four points after that.

It was 39-33 before the Trojans outscored the Cardinal 10-4 for a 12-point lead early in the second half. USC had a 33-14 rebounding advantage at that stage.

The Cardinal drew within six again on 3-pointers by Brown and Mitch Johnson before Mayo sparked a 7-0 spurt with two baskets and an alley-oop pass to Jefferson for a dunk that made it 58-45 with 9:24 remaining.

The Cardinal didn't pose a serious threat after that.

USC led 22-8 when Brown, a junior averaging 3.4 points, scored eight straight to trim USC's lead to six.

The Trojans led 39-31 at halftime after outrebounding Stanford 25-12. Brown's 13 points at that stage were one more than his previous season high.

The regular-season finale was billed as senior day at Galen Center, but the Trojans are made up of underclassmen, although freshmen Mayo and Jefferson and sophomore Gibson, all starters, might declare for this summer's NBA draft.

Stanford has three seniors on its roster, but the Cardinal's top five scorers are underclassmen.

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