for this game

No. 13 Kansas turns back USC

Dec 5, 2006 - 4:48 AM LAWRENCE, Kansas (Ticker) -- Kansas' upset of then-No. 1 Florida opened some eyes. It also brought on added attention.

Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush scored 13 points to lead a balanced attack as the 13th-ranked Jayhawks posted a 72-62 victory over USC.

Two nights after a loss to DePaul, Kansas (7-2) had its hands full with USC, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.

"USC played well and we played hard," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "We did a lot of good things tonight. We got the ball where we wanted it offensively and they are very good defensively. The problem was that they made us score over the top of them and we didn't make shots.

"When you don't make shots, you have to rebound the ball offensively. We did a great job there. (We) just need take away some really bad turnovers."

The Jayhawks struggled with their shooting throughout and could never shake the Trojans, who trailed by seven points twice in the first half but closed to 37-33 at intermission.

In the second half, Kansas seemed on the verge of breaking open the game on a number of occasions, building nine-point leads on three occasions.

USC's Lodrick Stewart, the twin brother of the Jayhawks' Rodrick Stewart, continually hit big shots, making three 3-pointers in the second half. He scored 23 points to lead the Trojans (5-2) and his final shot from the arc cut the deficit to 67-62 with 2:16 to play.

The Jayhawks responded with a big basket on the ensuing possession as Russell Robinson threaded a bounce pass to Brandon Rush, who dunked for a seven-point cushion with 1:49 to play.

"I am trying to get out of my shooting slump," Rush said. "Everyone has been pressing me to be aggressive and if I keep putting up shots, I will come out of it. I was shooting and they looked like they were good, but they kept falling short, going long, off the backboard. It wasn't my night.

"I don't think it is still a slump. I hit two shots and I felt pretty good."

Sherron Collins and Darnell Jackson scored 11 points each and Julian Wright added 10 for Kansas, which shot 38 percent (24-of-64). Jackson also had nine rebounds as the Jayhawks dominated the backboards, 39-30.

"Darnell (Jackson) came in and played a great game," Rush said. "He rebounded, made key shots and got to the free-throw line."

Kansas also forced USC into 25 turnovers, including 14 in the first half which it converted into 17 points.

"We got pounded on the defensive boards in the first half and we turned the ball over too much in order to beat a good team on the road," Trojans coach Tim Floyd said. "This is a good team, the best offensive rebounding team I've seen in the two years I've been back in college. I thought that was the big difference in the game."

Lodrick Stewart shot 9-for-15, including 5-of-8 from the arc despite getting poked in the eye. Taj Gibson added 15 points for the Trojans.

"I went out there and worked hard in warmups and I was ready to play," Stewart said. "It is not about my shot, but about the team playing together. I will do whatever it takes to help the team win. If that means making shots, then so be it."

    --- --- -----
    USC 33 29 62
    KANSAS (13) 37 35 72 FINAL

    Dec 4 11:19 PM

    USC 33

    Dec 4 9:59 PM