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USC 71, Loyola Marymnt 69

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Gabe Pruitt scored a career-best 36 points to
lead USC past Loyola Marymount 71-69 Saturday night.

Pruitt, who scored 20 of his points in the first half, drained
five 3-pointers and shot 13-for-19 from the field.

"Pretty memorable,"said Pruitt, whose previous high was 23
points. "I'm going to mark this one down in the books."

His coach concurred.

"He played terrific," USC coach Tim Floyd said. "We couldn't
have won without him."

Nick Young added 13 points and 10 rebounds for USC.

The Trojans (5-2) went on a 14-4 run to start the second half,
taking a double-digit lead, 48-37, when RouSean Cromwell converted
a three-point play with 14:12 remaining.

USC led by as many as 15 in the half, but barely escaped with
the victory.

Loyola Marymount (2-6) cut the lead to five points on Jon Ziri's
3-pointer with 2:57 left, and Dustin Brown's layup brought the
Lions within two points with 43 seconds remaining.

Young was then called for traveling with 12 seconds left and
Loyola had a chance to win, but Wes Waldrop missed an open
3-pointer at the buzzer.

"I learned last year that it doesn't matter how big your lead
is," Pruitt said.

"We did lose our composure a little bit," Floyd said. "We're
trying to learn how to win."

The Trojans have won five consecutive games, their longest
winning streak since the 2001-2002 season when they won nine
straight.

Brandon Worthy had 12 points to lead the Lions, which has lost
six of seven.

LMU's leading scorer Matthew Knight, who averages 19.3 points
per game, left the game with a concussion early in the second half.
Knight hit his head on the floor after taking an elbow from USC's
Abdoulaye Ndiaye.

"I didn't even know he was behind me," Ndiaye said. "I was
just trying to protect the ball. I did apologize to him."

After a 9-2 first-half run, the Lions took a 24-17 lead. The
Trojans charged back with a 13-0 streak and soon had a six-point
advantage.

The teams swapped 3-pointers to finish the first half, one by
Pruitt and a buzzer-beater by Wes Wardrop. The Trojans led 34-33 at
halftime.