No. 20 USC Edges Out Wyoming, 68-55

Nov 13, 2001

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AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Sam Clancy scored 22 points and newcomer Jerry Dupreeadded 13 as No. 20 Southern California opened the season with a 68-55 victoryover Wyoming in the Preseason NIT on Tuesday night.

The Trojans advanced to the second round and will play at Fresno State on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Dupree hadn't played in a year after spending last season at a juniorcollege in San Bernardino to improve his grades. He previously played as areserve at College of Southern Idaho.

But he appears ready to replace Jeff Trepangier after showing the sameathletic dunks and leaping ability that the former Trojan possessed.

Coming off last season's final eight berth in the NCAA tournament, theTrojans started three underclassmen against the Cowboys, who are favorites towin the Mountain West Conference.

Josh Davis, last season's Mountain West player of the year, led Wyoming with16 points. But the rest of the Cowboys' big front line of 6-foot-10, 260-poundUche Nsonwu-Amadi and 6-9, 245-pound Ugo Udezue got into foul trouble andscored two points each.

Clancy and Dupree got the Trojans off to a quick start in the second half,scoring the first six points as USC took the game's first double-digit lead,42-32.

Nsonwu-Amadi picked up his fourth foul and Udezue got his third in the firsttwo minutes of the second half. Wyoming got no closer than four points onUdezue's only basket with 14:30 remaining.

USC outscored the Cowboys 9-2 to take a 55-44 lead with 9:11 to play. Dupreestarted the run with a dunk and David Bluthenthal, who didn't start, scored hisonly points of the game in the spurt.

The Trojans closed the game by outscoring the Cowboys 9-3.

USC trailed by seven in the first half before scoring the final 11 points totake a 36-32 halftime lead. Nsonwu-Amadi picked up his third foul for theCowboys, who missed two baskets and committed two turnovers during USC's run.

The Cowboys were without point guard Chris McMillian, whose streak of 89consecutive starts ended. He is recovering from offseason leg surgery and nowhas a bone spur on his left foot.

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