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GameDay Open Thread: USC vs. Washington State

USC Trojans vs. Washington State Cougars, January 21, 2010 7:30 PST 710 ESPN Radio

The Trojans are coming off a big road victory at UCLA, where they defeated the Bruins by 21 points - the largest margin of victory for 'SC over the Powder Blues since the 1945 season. The win came at the perfect time for the Trojans, as they had just lost consecutive games to Stanford and California. Now, they have the opportunity to come back home and continue their quest for the first regular season Pac-10 championship against Washington State and Washington:

SCOUTING THE COUGARS -- Washington State is coming off a 77-73 home win vs. Stanford on Jan. 16. Sophomore Klay Thompson scored 27 in that game and is averaging a conference-leading 22.9 points per game. They also have been boosted by freshman point guard Reggie Moore who is averaging 13.4 points, second among first-year players in the Pac-10. Washington State leads the conference in field goal percentage, hitting at a .484 clip. USC won both matchups vs. WSU last season and owns a 66-41 lead in the all-time series, but are only 4-9 in the last 13 meetings between the two schools.

HUSKIES ON DECK -- Washington (12-5, 3-3) will play at UCLA on Jan. 21 before facing the Trojans at the Galen Center on Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Washington, the preseason No. 2 pick in the conference, leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense at 80.7 points per game. They are one of two Pac-10 teams without a road win (0-3). The Huskies are led by senior Quincy Pondexter who is averaging 20.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. USC and Washington split their series last season with both teams winning at home. The all-time series record is tied at 65-65.

Washington State is certainly a formidable foe as they feature the Pac-10's best offensive threat in Klay Thompson, but the Trojans should not have too much difficulty with the Cougars. For one, WSU owns just a 2-3 road record, and in those three losses, its margin of defeat is 15.6 points. Conversely, the Trojans have played exceptionally well at Galen Center this season, as they hold a 7-2 home record, and their two losses came early in the season when Mike Gerrity, Alex Stepheson, and Leonard Washington, were either ineligible or injured. In turn, with two comparable teams taking the court tonight, the home-court advantage should work in the Trojans' favor significantly.

Fight On! Beat the Cougars!