USC Breaks Away to Defeat Washington, 66-51

Jan. 12, 2008

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dwight Lewis scored 17 points, freshman O.J. Mayo had all but one of his 15 after halftime, and Southern California broke open a tight game midway through the second half to beat Washington 66-51 Saturday for its first Pac-10 victory of the season.

Freshman Davon Jefferson and Taj Gibson added 10 points each for the Trojans (10-6, 1-3 Pac-10), who snapped a three-game losing streak - their longest since they dropped the final three games of the 2005-06 season.

Mayo, who entered as the Pac-10's second-leading scorer with a 20.3-point average, shot just 4-of-13, but played well otherwise, getting four rebounds and five assists and doing a solid job on defense. He has scored in double figures in each of USC's 16 games.

USC won decisively despite being outrebounded 42-28. The Trojans forced 20 turnovers, and the Huskies shot just 20-for-60 (33.3 percent).

Jon Brockman led Washington (9-7, 0-3) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Quincy Pondexter added 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies, who lost their third straight.

Washington led 43-42 when Angelo Johnson made a layup and then fed Gibson for a dunk to trigger a 14-0 run that put the Trojans ahead 56-43 with 5:31 left, and the Huskies didn't threaten after that. Mayo scored five points and Jefferson added four during the spurt.

Jefferson, USC's second-leading scorer, returned to the starting lineup after playing only 15 minutes in a reserve role at Stanford last weekend and sitting out Thursday night's 73-58 loss to No. 4 Washington State.

'He didn't make the cut tonight. It was a coach's decision,' USC coach Tim Floyd said after the Washington State game. 'He's a young player, and there's a lot of room for growth.'

Floyd wouldn't elaborate except to say Jefferson would play against Washington.

Mayo, who missed his first six field goal attempts, finally made one in the opening 30 seconds of the second half, hitting a 3-pointer to give USC a 32-23 lead.

It was 36-25 before freshman Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored five points and Brockman and Tim Morris added four each during a 16-4 run that gave the Huskies their first lead of the game, 41-40 with 11:18 to play.

The Trojans began their decisive run shortly thereafter.

USC got off to a fast start, taking a 16-5 lead in the opening 7 1/2 minutes. Mayo was the only USC starter who hadn't scored at that stage, but he did have three assists.

Pondexter then scored eight points during an 11-2 spurt that drew the Huskies within two. The Trojans led 29-23 at halftime.

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