USC basketball: Trojans clobber Arizona State, 62-46
The Trojans (17-12, 9-7 in Pacific 10 Conference play) have won a season-high four straight and five of six as they head into their final two regular-season games at Washington State and Washington.
Safe to say, if USC wins those two and two games in the Pacific 10 Conference tournament, the Trojans have a decent shot of being "on the bubble" for an NCAA tournament at-large bid.
USC fans could think about such things well in advance of the final buzzer Saturday. The Trojans led by 20 at halftime and the lead only got bigger from there.
Statistically, an Arizona State blowout made sense.
USC had the Pac-10’s top scoring defense (62.8) while the Sun Devils, marred with injures, had the Pac-10’s worst scoring offense (63.5).
And USC's defense was again dominant. The Trojans are now 12-0 when holding an opponent to 60 points or fewer.
Junior forward Nikola Vucevic, playing in perhaps his final home game for USC, scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for his conference-leading 18th double-double. Senior forward Alex Stepheson had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and senior guard Donte Smith added 12 points.
Arizona State (10-18, 2-14) has lost 11 of its last 12. Trent Lockett and Keala King each led the Sun Devils with 14 points.
USC shot 20 for 47 (42.6%) from the field; Arizona State shot 15 for 49 (30.6%).
The game turned when USC was leading 11-9 early in the first half. The Trojans closed the rest of the half on a 27-9 run. It was enough of a blowout that seldom-used senior forward James Dunleavy checked into the game with 1:21 left after the fans had been chanting for him for a few minutes.
Dunleavy got off one shot, a three-point jumper. It was no good.
We'll have more later at latimes.com/sports
-- Baxter Holmes
Photo: Nikola Vucevic during a game earlier this season at the Galen Center. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire