No. 19 USC Holds Off New Mexico State, 73-60

Nov. 18, 2008

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Taj Gibson tied his career high with 22 points and had a career-best 10 rebounds as No. 19 Southern California defeated New Mexico State 73-60 on Tuesday night for its first 2-0 start in eight years.

Dwight Lewis added 16 points and Daniel Hackett, who fouled out with 2:38 remaining, had 10 for the Trojans, who won their season opener for the first time in four years last weekend. They opened the 2000-01 season with an 8-0 record.

DeMar DeRozan, USC's highly touted freshman making his second start, finished with seven points after scoring 14 in his college debut.

Jahmar Young had 16 points and seven rebounds, Troy Gillenwater added 15 points and Jonathan Gibson had 11 for the Aggies (1-1), who got within five points with 11:23 remaining before USC closed strongly to win.

Trailing 46-33, the Aggies outscored the Trojans 13-5 to close to 51-46. Gibson scored five points and Young added four, while defensively the Aggies were more aggressive.

But Gibson and Lewis, a couple of juniors, took over in a 16-10 spurt that put the game away. Gibson got things started with consecutive baskets en route to scoring eight points and Lewis had four to keep the Trojans ahead 67-56 with 3:43 remaining.

The Aggies were forced to foul down the stretch, and the Trojans responded by going 6-of-8 from the line.

USC dominated the boards 42-28, with Keith Wilkinson grabbing eight and freshman Leonard Washington seven.

The Trojans led by 17 points in the first half, outscoring the Aggies 31-14 to start the game. The spurt featured two 6-0 scoring bursts and an 11-0 run.

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