Horne, Wright Lead Buffs As CU Rolls Past USC
BOULDER — Colorado's Jeriah Horne and McKinley Wright IV both recorded double-doubles Thursday night to lead the Buffaloes to an 80-62 win over USC at the CU Events Center.
Colorado improved to 18-7 overall and 12-6 in Pac-12 play, giving the Buffs their most-ever conference wins in Pac-12 play. USC, which entered the game leading the conference standings, fell to 19-5, 13-4.
The win was CU's sixth straight over the Trojans.
Horne finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, tying his CU career high in scoring, while Wright had 15 points and a career-high 14 assists, just one off the school single-game record.
Evan Mobley and Tajh Eaddy led USC with 13 points each.
Colorado controlled the tempo for most of the game, taking a 42-29 lead at the half and never allowing the Trojans to cut the lead back to single digits the entire second half.
HOW IT HAPPENED: After taking a 13-point lead at intermission, the Buffs built their cushion to as much as 17 in the second half when a 3-pointer from Horne and a Maddox Daniels layup gave the Buffs a 64-47 with 8:52 to play.
But the Trojans slowly chipped away at the lead, finally pulling to within 10, 69-59, with just more than four minutes to play.
Colorado, though, put the game away with a 7-0 run over the next three minutes. Wright hit two free throws and then drained a 3-pointer with two minutes to play before Eli Parquet wrapped up the run with a dunk to give CU a 76-59 lead with just 1:27 left on the clock.
The Buffs put together an excellent all-around first half, taking a 42-29 lead into intermission.
CU built a 19-8 lead midway through the half before the Trojans rallied to cut the margin to three, 25-22, with an 11-3 surge.
But Colorado answered by getting hot from 3-point range. The Buffs hit four 3-pointers over the last six minutes — two from Horne and one each from D'Shawn Schwartz and Jabari Walker — and Wright had six points down the stretch to send CU into halftime with a 13-point cushion.
Colorado shot 51 percent from the floor in the opening half, including 6-for-9 from 3-point range. CU also shared the ball on offense, recording 12 assists on 15 baskets while the defense held USC to 39 percent shooting (11-for-28).
NEXT UP: The Buffs play host to UCLA in an 8 p.m. game Saturday (ESPN2), then wrap up the regular season Thursday, March 4, against Arizona State.