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USC Drops Eighth Straight, Falls 70-62 at Stanford

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Eight first half three-pointers were not enough, as the Trojans went cold down the stretch once again.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanford Cardinal overcame a barrage of first half three-pointers by the visiting USC Trojans and pulled away in the final few minutes for a 70-62 victory at Maples Pavilion on Sunday night. All five Stanford starters scored in double figures, led by Chasson Randle, who scored 17 points, and Stefan Nastic with 15 points. The loss was the eighth straight for the Trojans, who have now lost double-digit games in the Pac-12 for the second straight year.

USC closed the first half on a 10-0 run and took a 39-33 lead into the locker room. Guards Jordan McLaughlin and Katin Reinhardt each put up 14 points and knocked down four three-pointers apiece. The second half was a different story, however, as the pair combined for just one long ball and nine points.

Neither team led by more than one possession for most of the second half, but the Trojans went ice cold down the stretch, scoring just five points over the final 4:29. Down 65-59 after a McLaughlin steal, Reinhardt twisted his ankle and his knee appeared to buckle on a breakaway layup attempt. He lost the ball out of bounds and had to leave the game, but did return about a minute later.

With 2:13 to go, Malik Martin took a brilliant long bullet pass from Julian Jacobs and finished with a slam dunk to slice the deficit to 65-61. It turned out to be the last made field goal for the Trojans. After Elijah Stewart blocked Anthony Brown's layup attempt on the other end and controlled the rebound, the Trojans were unable to take advantage.

Stewart fouled out with 32 seconds left when Brown adroitly shot faked to get him in the air on a three-point attempt. It was the second time in the half that Stewart fouled a Stanford player attempting a three. Randle was the first one hacked, and both he and Brown made all three free throws.

Reinhardt finished with 19 points (7-for-14 FG, 5-for-7 3PT FG), while McLaughlin had 18 points (7-for-21 FG, 4-for-11 3PT). The rest of the USC team combined for just 25 points. Nikola Jovanovic was in foul trouble all night (three in the first half) and had just six points and two rebounds. Martin and Strahinja Gavrilovic had eight and seven apiece while filling in for him.

USC outshot Stanford 39.1 percent to 36.7, but the Cardinal made 17 more free throws than the Trojans and out-rebounded USC 50-35.

The loss drops USC to 9-14 overall and 1-10 in the Pac-12, where they sit in last place. Stanford is now tied for third at 7-4 in the Pac-12 and 16-7 overall.