for this game

Unbeaten Washington State visits Southern California

Jan 10, 2008 - 2:54 PM No. 4 Washington St (13-0) at USC (9-5) 11:00 pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Led by the nation's top-scoring defense, fourth-ranked Washington State is off to its best start in 72 years.

The fourth-ranked Cougars try to stay unbeaten when they take on O.J. Mayo and Southern California in a Pac-10 clash on Thursday.

Washington State (13-0, 1-0 Pac-10) is giving up just 49.8 points per game, matching its best start since winning its first 13 games in 1935-36 season. The Cougars' best start in school history is 17-0 set during the 1914-15 campaign.

The Cougars have not opened 2-0 in the conference since 1994-95 and have a chance to achieve that after Saturday's 56-52 victory at Washington. Aron Baynes had 16 points in the win.

USC (9-5, 0-2) is looking for its first win in the conference after losing at California and Stanford last week. USC has not lost its first three conference games since opening 0-5 in 2004-05.

The Trojans are led by Mayo - a freshman sensation - who is second in the conference in scoring at 20.1 points per game. Mayo scored 34 points in the loss to California on January 3 but had just 14 on 5-of-19 shooting in Saturday's loss to Stanford.

Washington State won the two regular-season meetings last season before USC won, 70-61, in the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament.