for this game

USC edges No. 12 Washginton State, advances to Pac-10 final

Mar 10, 2007 - 9:07 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Junior Gabe Pruitt and Southern California added another victim to their list.

Pruitt scored 26 points and freshmen Taj Gibson added 15 and nine rebounds as the Trojans posted a 70-61 victory over No. 12 Washington State in the semifinals of the Pac-10 Conference tournament.

A native of Los Angeles, Pruitt flashed his touch from outside just at the right time, connecting on an impressive 6-of-7 shots from 3-point range.

"During the warmups I started feeling it and I knew if I got open looks I would knock it down," Pruitt said. "We had a lot of halves where we were up and we lost the lead so I knew we were right there, I tried to stay poised."

USC improved to 7-4 against ranked opponents this season - its the most since winning six during the 2002 campaign.

The Trojans were coming off an 83-79 overtime triumph over Stanford on Thursday, where they rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half.

"Winning (Thursday) was big because none of these guys had won a game in the Pac-10 tournament so we're just taking it step by step," USC coach Tim Floyd said.

Third-seeded USC will face fourth-seeded No. 18 Oregon on Saturday. It will be the Trojans' first trip to the tourney title game since back-to-back appearances in 2002 and 2003 - both losses.

"The important thing is we want to play well going in to the NCAA Tournament," Floyd said. "Win or lose (Saturday) we're playing a team that I think is a third-seed, fourth-seed. Hopefully we're considered to be that high with a win, maybe it elevates us as far as that's concerned."

Southern Cal extended its lead to 56-46 with 9:49 remaining when Pruitt scored eight straight points, including two shots from the arc.

The Cougars made it a four-point game at 56-52, but Gibson poured in five points during a 9-2 surge to help the Trojans rebuild a double-digit advantage with 42 seconds to go.

Lodrick Stewart scored 15 points and Nick Young added 10 for Southern Cal, which shot 47 percent (18-of-38) and made 10-of-16 3-pointers.

Derrick Low scored 15 points and Kyle Weaver added 13 for Washington State, which shot just 36 percent (22-of-61) and finished 0-3 against USC this season.

"It got real interesting but it was hard for us to break USC down off the dribble defensively," Cougars coach Tony Bennett said. "It was a real challenge for us but I think we can learn from it."








  • PAC 10 TOURNAMENT
    AT LOS ANGELES CA
    NCAA BB PAC 10 TOURNAMENT
    FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
    --- --- -----
    USC 38 32 70
    WASHINGTON ST (12) 34 27 61 FINAL

    Mar 10 1:55 AM


  • PAC 10 TOURNAMENT
    AT LOS ANGELES CA
    NCAA BB USC 38
    WASHINGTON ST (12) 34 HALFTIME

    Mar 10 12:39 AM
  • 45
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 45 roots

    USC vs. Washington StateMar 10 12:39 AM