Northwestern Slips By USC, 63-61

Dec. 27, 2000

EVANSTON, Ill. - Bill Carmody now has an upset at Northwestern to gowith all of those he was part of at Princeton.

Ben Johnson hit a baseline jumper with 1:23 left, and then made two freethrows with eight seconds left Wednesday night as Northwestern stunned No. 16USC 63-61.

The Trojans had a chance to at least send it to overtime when BrandonGranville made the front end of a one-and-one with 3.7 seconds left. He missedthe second, giving the Trojans a chance at the rebound and the putback.

But Northwestern's Jason Burke grabbed the ball, and the Trojans had nochoice but to foul him with 2.4 seconds left. He missed the free throw, butBrian Scalabrine's desperation heave at the buzzer wasn't even close.

As the buzzer sounded, the Northwestern players ran and jumped to midcourt,where they huddled in celebration as the fans gave them a standing ovation.

Johnson finished with 13 points and eight assists, while Tavaras Hardy had aseason-high 20 points. Winston Blake added 12 for the Wildcats (7-5), who shot52 percent.

David Blumenthal led the Trojans (9-2) with 17 points, and Sam Clancy had15. The Trojans were held to just 42 percent shooting.

It was the Wildcats' first victory over a ranked team since Jan. 27, 1999,when they beat then-No. 14 Purdue, and it showed that the old Princeton magicis still alive and well - even if Carmody has gone West.

With their patented patient and fluid offense, the Princeton Tigers havebeen a danger to many top teams in the NCAA tournament. In 1996, they knockedoff UCLA, the defending champion, with a system that features backdoor cuts,layups and the patience to wait for the shots they want.

Carmody was an assistant at Princeton under Hall of Fame coach Pete Carril,and then head coach of the Tigers for four years before coming to Northwesternlast summer.

And the Wildcats are definitely showing Carmody's Princeton roots. They shot52 percent for the game, and had 23 assists on 28 field goals.

The Wildcats, who won just five games last year, opened with a 15-0 run andnever trailed the rest of the game.

Blumenthal got the Trojans to 59-58 with 2:53 left on an uncontested dunkand a 3-pointer, but Johnson hit his baseline jumper and USC made only one morefield goal the rest of the way.

It didn't help the Trojans that Scalabrine, their leading scorer, wassuffering from the stomach flu. He scored just six points and played 16minutes.

USC missed its first six shots and didn't score until Scalabrine's 12-footjumper with 14:44 left in the first half.

Desmon Farmer keyed an 8-0 run that got the Trojans within 29-22 with 5:01left in the first. But Hardy responded with a slam and a layup, Ed McCantsdrilled a 3-pointer and Aaron Jennings hit a soft jumper.

Before the Trojans figured out what had happened, Northwestern was up 38-22and there was 2:58 left in the first half.

Farmer hit a jumper at the top of the key with three seconds left to get USCwithin 38-29 at halftime.

AP Sports Writer

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