March 11, 2000
LOS ANGELES (AP) - USC made a last push Saturday to salvage an injury-marred season, trouncing Washington State 82-63.
Whether that's good enough to earn the Trojans (16-14, 9-9 Pacific-10 Conference) a National Invitational Tournament bid remains to be seen.
"It's out of my hands now," USC head coach Henry Bibby said. "We've done what we can do."
The Cougars were never a threat after the Trojans went on a 19-3 run early in the first half. USC connected on four 3-pointers during that 10:38 span, and finished the night 9-20 from behind the arc.
USC's effort earned mixed reviews from Brian Scalabrine, who contributed 10 points toward the victory.
"I thought we did a great job on defense in the first half," Scalabrine said. "But the second half we lightened up too much. And we didn't increase our lead. That is not the sign of a great team."
Jeff Trepagnier led the way for the Trojans with 20 points on 9-for-18 shooting from the field. He also pulled in six rebounds and had three assists.
For the Cougars (6-22, 1-17), Chris Crosby scored a game-high 22 points and hit all five of his team's three-pointers. Mike Bush finished with 16 points.
The Cougars were plagued by poor shooting early in the contest, managing just seven field goals during the first half. After the break, Washington State hit 58 percent of their shots, but USC used full court pressure and an aggressive trapping defense to continue to bother the Cougars. USC forced 20 turnovers while committing 15 of its own.
USC also edged the Cougars in the rebounding category, with David Bluthenthal pulling in 13 to lead the Trojans.
The win closed out a trying regular season for both teams. The Trojans started the season strong before losing Jarvis Turner and Sam Clancy, who was leading the team in scoring and rebounding when he broke his foot Jan. 20.
Clancy returned to the team March 2 and turned in eight points and four rebounds over 17 minutes of action Saturday. Turner has yet to return to the lineup.
"I think we have had a good season despite the injuries," Scalabrine said.