Trojans Make Saia A Winner Against San Diego, 87-75

Dec. 11, 2004

AP Sports Writer

SAN DIEGO - Sophomore guard Lodrick Stewart scored a career-high 27points and Gregg Guenther had 16 rebounds to lead Southern Cal to an 87-75 winover San Diego on Saturday, Jim Saia's first victory as the Trojans' coach.

Saia was named interim coach on Monday when Henry Bibby was fired after nineseasons, including three trips to the NCAA tournament. Saia lost his debut onWednesday, 71-68 to Fresno State.

The game was the opener of the San Diego Slam at San Diego State's CoxArena. Cal played San Diego State in the second game of the one-day tournamentsponsored by SDSU and the San Diego International Sports Council.

USC (3-3) beat San Diego for the third time since 2001.

USD (3-5) tied the game three times, including twice in the second half, butnever took the lead. Brandon Gay made a layup with 13 minutes left to tie it at55 before USC pulled away, starting with a jumper by Stewart, whose previouscareer-high was 22 against BYU a week earlier.

Stewart's final points came on a slam dunk with 44 seconds and he was calledfor a technical foul for hanging on the rim.

Derrick Craven added 14 points for the Trojans, Gabe Pruitt had 12 and NickCurtis and Guenther had 11 each.

Guenther's 16 rebounds were a career-high, beating his previous best bythree.

Bryce Vounang had 26 points for USD, followed by Gay with 16 and Avi Fogel,13.

USC led 47-40 at halftime.

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