Stanford races past short-handed USC 80-59
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Chasson Randle scored 18 points to lead Stanford to its fourth win in five games and a season sweep against Southern California with an 80-59 victory on Thursday night.
Dwight Powell added 14 points and Josh Huestis had 11 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Cardinal (17-8, 8-5 Pac-12), who head into Saturday night’s showdown against No. 23 UCLA on a roll.
Pe’Shon Howard scored 13 and Julian Jacobs added 11 for the Trojans (10-16, 1-12), who have lost seven straight games under first-year coach Andy Enfield.
To make matters worse for USC, the Trojans were without leading scorer Byron Wesley, who will miss both games in the Bay Area this weekend for a violation of team rules. Wesley is averaging 17.6 points per game and had scored 110 points in USC’s previous five games.
With Wesley back home, Stanford overcame a slow start to race past the Trojans in the second half after needing overtime to win at USC last month.
The Cardinal found their shooting stroke to start the second half, making 9 of their first 11 shots to open up an 11-point lead midway through the half and never looked back.
Powell’s jumper extended the lead to 59-42 just past the midpoint of the half and Anthony Brown’s fast break dunk for a three-point play made it a 22-point game as the Cardinal coasted to the end.
Huestis also blocked three shots to give him 169 for his career, breaking the school record of 167 blocks set by Tim Young.
Stanford led 32-23 at halftime despite a rough shooting half against the overmatched Trojans. The Cardinal made just 10 of 35 shots (28.6 percent) in the half, missing 12 of 13 3-pointers.
But they managed to get to the line 16 times and capitalized on 10 turnovers to take the nine-point lead when Randle hit two free throws with 0.4 seconds left.
The Trojans had one more turnover than made baskets as they struggled to find any consistent scoring in the absence of Wesley. They were even unable to convert a breakaway layup when Brendyn Taylor almost missed the entire rim as he appeared caught between trying a layup or a dunk.
Powell left briefly in the opening half to get stitches in his head after colliding with USC’s Strahinja Gavrilovic. Powell returned with a white wrap around his head and a new No. 32 to replace his bloodied No. 33 and made his first shot after coming back.