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Washington State beats USC 72-64 to win in Galen Center for 1st time in nearly 9 years

By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Isaac Jones scored 26 points and Washington State held off Southern California 72-64 on Wednesday night, beating the Trojans on the road for the first time in nearly nine years.

Jaylen Wells added 17 points for the Cougars (11-5, 2-3 Pac-12), who last won at USC on March 1, 2015. It was their final league game at Galen Center, with the Trojans headed to the Big Ten next season.

“We’ve been knocking on the door the last two years, been tight games,” WSU coach Kyle Smith said. “It’s a shame that we don’t have the Pac-12 anymore because I think it’s such a fun league and maybe some day we’ll get back together.”

Smith improved to 2-7 against the Trojans, with the other win coming last January in Pullman.

Jones scored nine straight points to put the Cougars ahead 68-64.

“I think we just wanted it more than them,” Jones said.

Boogie Ellis got fouled and missed the first free throw while hobbled with a hamstring that he tweaked last weekend. He missed a 3-pointer with 31 seconds remaining and finished with 18 points for the Trojans (8-8, 2-3). Isaiah Collier added 12 points before leaving with a right hand contusion. Kobe Johnson fouled out and finished with nine points.

“No one could stop Jones,” said DJ Rodman, who had eight points against his former team. “They defended us well, slowed us down and took us out of our game.”

Bronny James was the only Trojan not to score, going 0 for 3 in 15 minutes in front of his father, LeBron James. He sat down with 7 1/2 minutes left and didn’t return until the final 29 seconds because the Trojans went bigger down the stretch.

“He made a couple nice plays tonight,” USC coach Andy Enfield said.

Over the final 8 minutes, the Cougars went 14 of 15 from the line with Jones hitting eight, while making just four field goals.

“We put in a lot of work and it’s showing,” Jones said.

Harrison Hornery’s 3-pointer gave USC its last lead, 64-63. It was also the Trojans’ last basket as they failed to score over the final 2:16.

“That’s awesome,” Smith said. “I was so out of it, I thought we were only up two. I looked up we were up four. We hung in there and got some clutch rebounds.”

Neither team led by more than six points in the game until the Cougars scored the last nine points of the game.

The Trojans were without rim protector Joshua Morgan, who has an upper respiratory infection.

BIG PICTURE

Washington State: The Cougars are defending at a high rate, ranking second in the Pac-12 in field-goal percentage defense. They lead the league in blocks.

USC: The Trojans won two out of three games since returning home. They were away for eight of their first 13 games for the first time since 2005. Their guards — senior Ellis, junior Johnson and freshman Collier — each had 20-point games against Stanford last weekend, the first time that’s happened since 2018.

UP NEXT

Washington State: Hosts No. 8 Arizona on Saturday.

USC: Visits Colorado on Saturday in the first of three straight road games.

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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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