Los Angeles, CA – Arizona State ate up an eight point lead with 1:30 seconds to go in game, as USC holds on for a 82 – 79 victory at Galen Center.
USC held their largest lead of the game which was 14 points in 2nd half with 3:13 on the clock before it evaporated quickly.
The hot hand tonight was Elijah Stewart who hit seven three pointers on his was to a team high 29 points.
“It feels good (to score),” said Elijah Stewart, “but I like winning more.”
Par for the course USC guard Jordan McLaughlin had a solid performance with 18 points, 8 assists, and 4 three pointers.
Arizona State had lost its last three games coming into tonight’s contest at the Galen Center hungry for a win. ASU is ranked third in PAC-12 scoring an average of 81.5 points per game.
USC received a big push from freshman Jonah Mathews who scored 14 points in his first start of many to come.
“At first, I was nervous to start.” said Jonah Mathews, “Then as the game went on I felt good.”
Mathews almost let ASU back in the game in the closing seconds with a 5 second call, turn over, and a wasted time out while he inbounded the ball.
USC coach Andy Enfield put the freshman in a tough spot asking him to inbound the basketball in the closing minutes.
“It was a good win for us.” said coach Andy Enfield, ” Arizona State is a tough matchup for us because of their offensive explosiveness…”
Arizona State starting lineup all scored in double figures led by Torian Graham with 24 points.
In a four guard starting line lone forward Obinna Oleka filled up the basket with 17 points, and 14 rebounds in a losing effort.
Now USC won’t make the tournament with tonight’s win but it definitely won’t hurt them when the selection committee looks at their opponents RPI.
USC moved their record to 17-5 and will host the UCLA Bruins 19-2 Wednesday night at 8 p.m. PST at Galen Center.