LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Gabe Pruitt scored 17 points and Nick Young
added 14 as USC beat Brigham Young 74-68 Saturday night.
In a game that largely mirrored USC's 87-82 win over BYU last
Dec. 4, when the Trojans survived despite giving up a 17-point
second-half lead, Pruitt converted all four of his free throws on
the Trojans' last two possessions to provide the final margin and
stave off another comeback attempt.The Trojans (4-2) were coasting again Saturday, holding an
18-point lead, 58-40, with 9:48 left.BYU charged back to get to within one, 65-64, with 1:34 to play.After trading points, the Cougars trailed by two, 70-68, with
23.1 seconds remaining before putting Pruitt at the line for his
four free throws."I didn't think of it as 'We need this,' Pruitt said. "I just
thought, 'It's just practice.' That's how I looked at it.""We had poise," USC coach Tim Floyd added. "That was a
quality win for us at this time of year, it really was."Freshman center Trent Plaisted posted a career-high 20 points to
lead BYU (3-2), which saw a three-game winning streak snapped.
Plaisted fouled out on a charging call with 2:32 left.Lodrick Stewart added 12 points for USC, which won its fourth
straight game. Stewart's 3-pointer with 1:17 left was the Trojans'
last field goal and one that pushed the lead back to four, 70-66,
after BYU had gotten to within one."That was a big basket," Floyd said."We were up by 18, we started playing lackadaisical, we thought
we had the game won," said Young. "But they started hitting
shots."In the first half, USC made just one basket in the first five
minutes but went on a 27-11 run over the final nine-plus minutes to
turn an eight-point deficit into an eight-point lead at halftime,