Trojans' First-Half Blitz Sacks Cowboys
March 15, 2001
UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Southern California used a huge first-half runagainst Oklahoma State Thursday night and routed the grieving Cowboys 69-54 inthe first round of the NCAA tournament.
With USC leading 10-9, Sam Clancy and Jeff Tragnier touched off a 14-0 runthat extended first to 23-2 and then to 29-4, turning the game into a blowout.
By halftime, the Trojans (22-9) led 48-19, a 29-point lead that was thelargest of the game.
Clancy led USC with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Trepagnier finished with 17and Brandon Granville had 14.
USC dominated the backboards, rarely allowing Oklahoma State more than oneshot each trip down the floor. The Trojans held a 26-16 rebounding edge at thehalf and 45-36 for the game.
The Cowboys' task was further complicated by some miserable shooting. Theymade just nine of 26 shots and missed nine of 10 free throws in the first half.
Wearing black patches on their jerseys to remember the two teammates andeight other members of their traveling party who died in a plane crash Jan. 27,the Cowboys hoped to put the tragedy to behind them.
But they looked distracted and disorganized and USC took advantage of everyOklahoma State miss and every mistake.
It started early with USC getting consecutive three-point plays byTrepangnier and Clancy to begin the game. Fredrik Jonzen, Oklahoma State'stallest starter at 6-10 and second leading scorer, was charged with both foulsin the first minute of play, putting the Cowboys in immediate trouble.
It just got worse after that.
Clancy and Trepagnier had two baskets apiece in the 14-0 run and afterMaurice Baker scored for Oklahoma State, USC went on another 11-0 streak withClancy scoring six points and Trepagnier getting five.
Oklahoma State tried to regroup in the second half and 13-straight pointscut the lead to 58-44 with eight minutes remaining. But USC's huge early marginwas far too much to overcome.
Jonzen led the Cowboys with 17.
By HAL BOCK
AP Sports Writer