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USC 69 - Stanford 65



Stanford at USC




Gibson Stepping Up
Photo: Hans Gutknecht - Daily News
Win #20

What difference a game makes. After that embarrassing loss to ASU on Sunday The SC basketball team had a pre-game pep talk from Pete Carroll that really pumped them up and they came out ready to play. Nick young scored SC's first 11 points on his way to game high 22 points. Young, along with Pruitt and Stewart, all had big nights and the plays that needed to be made when they were needed to help SC get its 20th win of the season and they have all but assured themselves a spot in the Big Dance, now its just a question of seeding and location.

Here is the Box Score and the game Recap.

SC did what they needed to do by playing an up-tempo game. With RouSean Cromwell making his first start in 3 months his presence helped counter the Lopez boys by blocking 2 shots from Robin Lopez and drawing 2 fouls that that put him on the bench 7 minutes into the first half. To me he was player of the game. This was obviously a different story than what we saw in Palo Alto when the Lopez boys dominated SC last month.

Everyone got in this game and contributed and it looked like Gibson got the help he needed against Stanford's twin towers. SC also got aggressive on the defensive side of the ball by converting steals into points on the fast break. They were also aggressive on the boards on missed shots and free throws. Stewart went 3-for-4 on 3-point attempts with 17 points, Pruitt had 16 points and 8 assists to go along with Young's 22 points. Stewart's 3-pointers, 216 total for his career, put him 2 shy of USC's Brandon Granville for career 3-pointers.

Of course now comes the hard part, SC needs to stay the course and not get comfortable with hitting the milestone of 20 wins. With Cal up next on Saturday SC needs to make sure that they don't let Cal back into the game like they did last month. It's apparent that SC wants to play at a fast pace so I would hope that Tim Floyd mixes it up a bit but keeps the tempo moving.

Let's talk about Carroll, while Floyd was addressing the team before the game Carroll pounded on the door entered the room and gave an impromptu motivational speech stressing to the team not to be intimidated by their, Stanford's, size. No one knows how to motivate a team like Pete Carroll so you know he had the fired up!

Before the game, Floyd was addressing his team when there was a loud knock on the locker room door and USC football Coach Pete Carroll entered to offer an impromptu motivational speech.

Carroll whipped the Trojans into a frenzy, telling them about the football team's 33-game winning streak at the Coliseum that dates to 2001. Freshman forward Taj Gibson said Carroll also told the players, "We're not going to let them come in here because they're big and push us around."

Said Young: "Coach Carroll came in and got us all pumped up. We tried to go out like the football team."

As for the tournament, well this win definitely helps SC's bid when you include their sweeps of Arizona and Oregon this season. Beating WSU next week further helps SC, as it would be a win against another ranked team in the very tough Pac 10 conference. But for now we look ahead to Cal for SC's final Home Game of the year.