Stanford 71

(4-6, 0-2 Pac-12)

USC 82

(10-3, 1-1 Pac-12)

    4:00 PM ET, December 31, 2005

    Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

    1 2 T
    STAN 29 4271
    USC 36 4682

    Top Performers

    Stanford: L. Hill 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    USC: R. Francis 15 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl

    USC 82, Stanford 71

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lodrick Stewart and freshman Ryan Francis made sure that Southern California wouldn't start the Pac-10 season with two straight losses.

    Stewart had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Trojans, who got double-figure scoring from all five starters and held off a late rally by Stanford for a 82-71 victory on Saturday.

    Nick Young had 16 points, Francis a career-high 15, and Gabe Pruitt 14. Francis made the play of the game, stealing the ball from Chris Hernandez after an inbounds play and converting a layup that gave the Trojans an eight-point cushion with 2:27 remaining.

    "Ryan has a lot of heart and toughness. He never takes a play off," coach Tim Floyd said. "As a freshman, he plays with great poise that we have come to count on. He really doesn't play like a freshman."

    Stanford shot 42 percent from the field, only the second time in 11 games that the Trojans (10-3, 1-1 Pac-10) failed to hold an opponent under 40 percent. The Cardinal also ended a streak of 11 games in which USC gave up fewer than 70 points -- the Trojans' longest such streak since a 13-game stretch in 1959-60.

    Both teams were coming off losses on Thursday that ended impressive winning streaks. USC had won nine in a row before losing 62-58 to California, and Stanford had beaten UCLA eight straight times at Pauley Pavilion before losing 71-54.

    "We knew we had to get this victory because you don't want to start the Pac-10 season 0-2, so we did everything we possibly could," Young said. "I knew it was going to be a tough game because they don't give up and they always play hard."

    Lawrence Hill had 20 points and seven rebounds for Stanford (4-6, 0-2 Pac-10), which had won the previous six regular-season meetings with USC and 13 of 16.

    Stanford forward Matt Haryasz left the game with 14:11 remaining after going down with a sprained left ankle and finished with seven points, ending his streak of 24 consecutive games in double-digit scoring. Peter Prowitt, who played only one minute during the first half, replaced him and capped a 15-3 run with a pair of free throws that narrowed the gap to 63-57 with 6:09 to play.

    Dan Grunfeld, who scored 17 points, made a 3-pointer that pulled Stanford within 64-60. But the Cardinal got no closer and fell to 4-0 on the road as USC closed with a 20-9 run.

    "It was encouraging to see us get in a rhythm at the end, but we just couldn't stop the ball at crucial times," Stanford coach Trent Johnson said. "They hurt us off transition. We got outrebounded by eight, and we couldn't get stops defensively."

    USC opened the second half with a 13-2 spurt that increased its seven-point lead to 49-31 with 15:56 to play. Stewart helped fuel the rally with a 3-pointer, a driving layup and two free throws.

    Stanford attempted 16 jump shots in the first half and made only two. After Hill's two free throws gave the Cardinal their only lead at 7-6, USC pulled ahead 25-16 with a 19-9 run capped by Stewart's 3-pointer and 16-foot bank shot.

    Abdoulaye N'Diaye increased the margin to 13 points, USC's biggest of the first half, on a layup 3 1-2 minutes before intermission. He finished with a career-high 11 points and seven rebounds.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 71 82
    FG Made-Attempted 25-60 (.417) 27-57 (.474)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-16 (.313) 2-11 (.182)
    FT Made-Attempted 16-19 (.842) 26-36 (.722)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 18

    2005-06 Season

    » Dec 31, 2005 @USC 82, STAN 71Recap
    Mar 2, 2006 @STAN 58, USC 56Recap