Jan. 4, 2001
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- USC used a 24-7 run over a 7:40 span in the latter stages of the second half to defeat Washington State 82-59 in the Pacific-10 opener for both schools, Thursday.
Desmond Farmer scored 10 of his game-high 24 points during the run that increased the 20th-ranked Trojans lead from 54-48 to 78-55 with 3:17 remaining in the game.
The Cougars (6-4, 0-1) battled the Trojans (11-2, 1-0) tough in the first half and only trailed 38-33 at intermission. Junior Mike Bush (Riverside, Calif.) had 10 of his team-high 14 points in the opening stanza and sophomore Jerry McNair (Torrance, Calif.) added nine points in the first half.
WSU closed to within 44-40 on a three-pointer by senior Eddie Miller (Reseda, Calif.) with 17:27 to play. For the ensuing 6:30, the USC lead see-sawed between four and eight points until the Trojans led 54-48 at the 10:57 mark before making their run that sealed the win.
"I told our guys after the game that we played the way I know we can play for about 33 minutes tonight," WSU head coach Paul Graham said. "We had a breakdown for seven minutes and that was the difference in the game. I think we are a young team that grew up a little bit tonight. We have to rebound and try to get us a win Saturday to get a split on this road trip."
Junior J Locklier (Rock Hill, S.C.) added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Cougars while junior Framecio Little (Anderson, S.C.) tied his season high with 10 rebounds to accompany his eight points.
David Bluthenthal narrowly missed a double-double for USC with 14 points and nine rebounds and teammate Sam Clancy added 17 points.
The Cougars will play at UCLA Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports Net.