Photo: Kody Whiteaker - AP
So with tonight's loss to WSU sc is guaranteed 3rd place in the Pac 10 because of Stanford's loss to Arizona. I would have preferred 2nd place in the Pac 10 and 1st round bye but that is now in the past. SC played the Cougars tough tonight and they had the lead late in the 2nd half but they couldn't hold it.
They boys dug down deep getting the game into the first overtime on a booming 3-pointer by Stewart with 5 seconds to play and then getting to the 2nd overtime when Stewart had a chance to win it because he was fouled in the act of shooting a 3-pointer he made 2-of-3 free throws. Stewart led USC scoring with 22 points with Gabe Pruitt scoring 19 points. SC didn't quit in this game with Pruitt hitting a 3-pointer with just over a second to play in the 2nd OT but it was not enough.
SC finishes the regular season in a tie for third place in the pac10 but because of their regular season sweeps of Arizona and Oregon they win the tiebreaker. So we move on to the Pac 10 Tournament and put a very successful regular season behind us. This game to me was less about the Pac 10 Tournament and more about the Big Dance in regards to seeding so now we have some work to do. I would have liked to finish 2nd for a number of reasons but we move forward and put our efforts into the future.
The guys need to stay motivated and not let this tough loss get them down. We have come a long way and with that expectations have been raised. With the low expectations that some predicted SC's recent success has been a breath of fresh air and the Trojan faithful have responded. Support for the team is at an all time high so we need to ride the momentum and finish strong, if not win the Pac 10 tournament.
Give WSU and head Coach Tony Bennett credit for a great year, Bennett will probably win NCOY honors for all of his accomplishments this season. Regardless of weather it's his fathers players and system that he took advantage of this season he still did a great job and should be commended for his work. Coach Floyd had a pretty good idea of good the cougars were going to be when he watched film of them over the holidays so he knew what he was in for and like UCLA and USC they will be returning some key players next year so I would expect another tough road to hoe for any of the teams in the Pac 10 next season.
We'll have more tomorrow.
Great Effort Guys!