Trojans Outlast Lions, 71-69

Dec. 10, 2005

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Gabe Pruitt scored a career-best 36 points to lead USC past Loyola Marymount 71-69 Saturday night.

Pruitt, who scored 20 of his points in the first half, drained five 3-pointers and shot 13-for-19 from the field.

Nick Young added 13 points and 10 rebounds for USC.

The Trojans (5-2) went on a 14-4 run to start the second half, taking a double-digit lead, 48-37, when RouSean Cromwell converted a three-point play with 14:12 remaining.

USC led by as many as 15 in the half, but barely escaped with the victory.

Loyola Marymount (2-6) cut the lead to five points on Jon Ziri's 3-pointer with 2:57 left, and Dustin Brown's layup brought the Lions within two points with 43 seconds remaining.

Young was then called for traveling with 12 seconds left and Loyola had a chance to win, but Wes Waldrop missed an open 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Trojans have won five consecutive games, their longest winning streak since the 2001-2002 season when they won nine straight. Loyola Marymount has lost six of seven.

Brandon Worthy had 12 points to lead the Lions.

LMU's leading scorer Matthew Knight, who averages 19.3 points per game, left the game with a concussion early in the second half. Knight hit his head on the floor after taking an elbow from USC's Abdoulaye Ndiaye.

After a 9-2 first-half run, the Lions took a 24-17 lead. The Trojans charged back with a 13-0 streak and soon had a six-point advantage.

The teams swapped 3-pointers to finish the first half, one by Pruitt and a buzzer-beater by Wes Wardrop. The Trojans led 34-33 at halftime.



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