Gibson helps USC advance in Pac-10 tourney

BY foxsports • March 13, 2009

Taj Gibson had 21 points and 16 rebounds, Daniel Hackett made four free throws in the last 3.8 seconds, and Southern California never trailed in beating California 79-75 Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament.

Freshman DeMar DeRozan added 17 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots and Hackett had 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the sixth-seeded Trojans (19-12), who earned a berth in Friday night's semifinals and greatly enhanced their NCAA tournament chances.

Jerome Randle led third-seeded California (22-10) with 18 points. Patrick Christopher added 15 points, freshman Jorge Gutierrez scored a career-high 14 before fouling out with 30.5 seconds left, and Theo Robertson added 13 for the Bears, who barely lost despite being outrebounded 53-27.

Entering the tournament, the sixth seed had a 2-11 record in first-round action and had lost six straight, but the Trojans held on after leading by as many as 18 points. USC is 6-6 in games decided by five points or less.

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