Late Free Throws Propel Stanford to Victory Against USC, 58-56
March 2, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Chris Hernandez sank two free throws with four seconds left to lift Stanford to a 58-56 victory over Southern California on Thursday night.
Hernandez finished with 16 points and Dan Grunfeld added 14 as the Cardinal (15-11, 11-6 Pac-10) won its second straight. Matt Haryasz had nine points and 11 rebounds.
Lodrick Stewart scored 17 points to lead the Trojans (17-11, 8-9), who lost their fifth in seven games.
Gabe Pruitt, who scored 13 points, returned to the Trojans lineup after missing five games with a left knee injury and made an immediate impact, helping to generate some early offense. Pruitt has reached double figures in 21 of the 23 games he's played. Nick Young had 10 points.
Haryasz blocked three shots to move into sole possession of third place on Stanford's all-time list with 123.
Hernandez hit a short jumper with a minute to play to tie the game at 54 and Haryasz made both of his free throws with 35 seconds left to give Stanford a 56-54 edge.
Abdoulaye Ndiaye made a 2-foot jumper with 12.2 seconds left to tie the game.
The Cardinal scored the first seven points of the second half to stake itself to a 35-27 advantage but the Trojans roared back. Pruitt hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 43 with 9:57 left to play and Nick Young hit a short jumper 30 seconds later to put USC ahead.
The Trojans carried a two-point lead until Hernandez hit his shot thanks in part to Stanford, the Pac-10's top free throw shooting team, missing three of four foul shots in the previous three minutes.
Sparked by Pruitt's return, the Trojans scored 10 of the game's first 13 points but then hit a cold spell, missing 13 of 15 shots during which Stanford went on a 22-4 run to take a 25-14 lead with 5:30 left in the half.
USC outscored the Cardinal 13-3 the rest of the way to draw within 28-27 at halftime.