USC Downs Stanford, 69-65

Feb. 23, 2007

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Nick Young scored 22 points and Lodrick Stewart had 17 as Southern California beat Stanford 69-65 Thursday night to take sole possession of third place in the Pac-10 with its 20th win of the season.

The Trojans (20-8, 10-5) bounced back from a Sunday loss to last-place Arizona State and avenged its worst defeat of the season to Stanford last month.

After being dominated under the basket in the last meeting by Stanford's 7-foot Lopez twins in a 65-50 loss, USC won with drives and perimeter shooting from its smaller players.

Stewart went 3-for-4 from 3-point range and fellow guard Gabe Pruitt added 16 points and eight assists.

The teams came into the night tied for third in the Pac-10 and each was looking to present a case for a spot in the NCAA tournament.

USC made by far the stronger case. The Trojans led for all but three minutes and kept the lead in double digits for much of the second half. They led by as many as 13.

Brook Lopez, coming off a career-high 26 points in Sunday's win over Oregon, had 23 points and eight rebounds for Stanford (17-9, 9-6). Lawrence Hill added 21 points and eight boards.

The Cardinal managed a late rally when Hill made three free throws and Lopez made a layup to pull within four, 63-59 with 2:30 to play.

Twice the Trojans failed to make the front end of a one-and-one in the final two minutes, but pulled down the rebound both times.

Hill made two more free throws to make it 64-61, but Young went 4-for-4 from the line in the final minute to put the game away.

USC improved to 15-3 in the debut season of its new Galen Center arena. The Trojans play one more home game against California on Saturday before closing the season at Washington and No. 9 Washington State. They are three games behind first-place UCLA in the Pac-10.

The Cardinal have lost four of seven and now have to face the fourth-ranked Bruins on Saturday.

USC opened the second-half with a 7-2 run capped by a 3-pointer from Pruitt to take an 11-point lead 41-30 with 18:15 to play.

A pair of jumpers from Brook Lopez and a reverse layup from brother Robin pulled the Cardinal within three, 43-40, but Stanford would get no closer.

Stewart again took the lead to 11 with a 3-pointer with 8:11 to play, the 216th of his college career. That put him two short of Brandon Granville on USC's career 3-pointers list.

Young scored 9 of the Trojans' first 15 points including a reverse layup in under-the-basket traffic tossed from his waistline as USC opened with a 15-8 lead.

Stanford went on a 9-4 run and pulled within two, 19-17, but USC answered with an 11-3 run that included eight points and two 3s from Stewart.

Young hit a fallaway jumper in the half's final seconds to give the Trojans a 34-26 halftime lead. Young had 11 first-half points.

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