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USC defeats Stanford 93-79 with 3 Trojans topping 20 points in front of LeBron James

By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Freshman Isaiah Collier scored a career-high 26 points and Southern California defeated Stanford 93-79 on Saturday to complete a weekend sweep.

The Trojans (8-7, 2-2 Pac-12) had lost their opening Pac-12 games last weekend in Oregon, but they got back to .500 against the stubborn Cardinal.

Boogie Ellis added 22 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and Kobe Johnson tied his career high with 21.

“My confidence is high right now. I’m just running wth it and taking the shots I know I can make,” Johnson said. “Just seeing the ball go through the hoop is the biggest thing for me.”

Freshman Bronny James was limited to two points (both free throws) on 0-for-4 shooting while playing 19 minutes in front of his father, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who high-fived his son before the game.

Once again, James was on the floor in the closing minutes for his defensive prowess. He had two of USC’s 13 steals.

“It’s great to have somebody that sparks us coming off the bench and giving us great minutes and energy and impact on the game even when he’s not scoring,” Ellis said of James.

Near the end of the first half, James drew a charge.

“That was a great play,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “The guy was coming full speed, so he just stepped in and put his chest in there and I thought that was very smart.”

The elder James gave the V for victory sign as he walked off the floor holding the hand of his 9-year-old daughter, Zhuri.

Michael Jones scored 23 points, making all five of his 3-pointers, and Brandon Angel had 18 points to lead Stanford (7-7, 2-2).

“Everybody can make shots on their entire team,” Enfield said. “Those guys (Jones and Angel) were pretty tough to guard. We challenged many of those shots and they just made them.”

DJ Rodman’s pair of free throws gave USC its first double-digit lead of the game, 61-51, midway through the second half. James contributed a pair of free throws after a steal and foul.

The Cardinal answered right back with a 10-0 run, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Angel and Benny Gealer, to tie it at 61-all.

Twice Stanford got within one before the Trojans ran off eight in a row to lead 74-65. Ellis and Collier hit consecutive 3-pointers. USC got a series of defensive stops that left the Cardinal empty-handed.

Jones carried Stanford for a stretch, scoring seven in a row to get to 81-75.

But the Trojans outscored Stanford 12-2 down the stretch to seal the win.

BIG PICTURE

Stanford: Coming off an upset over then-No. 4 Arizona, the Cardinal outlasted UCLA 59-53. But their two-game winning streak ended against the gritty Trojans, whose defense forced 18 turnovers.

USC: The Trojans had their worst December (1-5) since 2013 when they were 2-5. They’ve turned a corner when it comes to fouls. After getting whistled for 109 in their previous five games, the Trojans tied a season low with 10 against California on Thursday and had 10 against the Cardinal, which should help cut down on opponents outshooting and outscoring them at the free-throw line.

UP NEXT

Stanford: Visits Oregon State on Thursday.

USC: Hosts Washington State on Wednesday.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

Article Topic Follows: ap-california-news

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