Stanford 78, USC 70

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A hot second half by flu-ridden Chris
Hernandez helped Stanford complete a two-game sweep in Southern

Hernandez, who had a temperature of 102 degrees Friday night
according to coach Trent Johnson, scored 18 of his 20 points after
intermission and the Cardinal beat USC 78-70 on Saturday for their
fourth straight victory.

Hernandez took just four shots in the first half, his only
basket coming on a layup four minutes before halftime. He was
4-for-8 in the second half.

"It was a just matter of waiting for my time to come and get
some open looks," Hernandez said. "Maybe they thought I wasn't
that much of a factor, since I scored only two points in the first
half. So they could have relaxed. I don't know."

"They were definitely denying me the ball in the first half. I
would scoot back close to half court, and the guy would still be up
on me. So I just told the other wings that they've got to drive to
the basket because they won't have any help."

The Trojans made only one field goal during a 5 1-2 minute span
down the stretch, as Stanford pulled out to a 72-62 lead with 1:14
left. Hernandez ignited an 11-0 run with a 3-pointer that put the
Cardinal ahead to stay with 5:24 left, then added eight free throws
in the final 2:03.

"When we're defending and rebounding, we've got a chance to
beat a lot of people," Johnson said.

Stanford, coming off a 75-64 win at UCLA Thursday, has won eight
of 11 overall after dropping its first three conference games. The
Cardinal have won the last three meetings with USC, five of the
last six, and will have a chance to even the all-time series at 113
wins apiece when they host the Trojans on Feb. 17.

Dan Grunfeld matched Hernandez's 20 points and Matt Haryasz
added 18 points and 10 points for Stanford (10-7, 4-3 Pac-10),
offsetting a career-high 23 points by USC freshman guard Gabriel

"I saw Gabe play in high school, and I thought he was one of
the best guards coming out. So we knew he could play," Johnson

USC interim head coach Jim Saia, who will guide the Trojans for
the rest of the season before handing the reins to recently hired
Tim Floyd, is 7-8 since Henry Bibby was fired on Dec. 6.

"We let one slip away. This one hurts," Saia said. "We didn't
get done what we wanted to do defensively. We just didn't make
enough plays down the stretch, mentally or physically."

The lead changed hands seven times over a 4:18 span before USC
(9-10, 2-6 Pac-10) ran off seven straight points to pull ahead
52-46 with 12:04 to play. But Haryasz responded with a dunk and a
16-footer, igniting an 8-0 run that put Stanford back in front
54-52 with 9:36 left.

The lead switched another five times before Hernandez drained a
3-pointer to put Stanford ahead to stay at 64-62 with 5:24
remaining. USC's Jeff McMillan missed two free throws with 4:11
left, and Nick Robinson hit a layup at the other end before a
seemingly endless string of Stanford free throws bogged down the
rest of the game.

Grunfeld scored 12 of Stanford's first 17 points -- including a
3-pointer and two free throws that accounted for all of his team's
offense in a 16-5 USC run. Pruitt helped fuel the Trojans' rally
with a pair of 3-pointers, and Rory O'Neil capped it with a
17-footer that gave them a 23-17 lead with 6:24 left in the first

The Trojans never trailed by more than three points over the
first 11 minutes, but didn't take their first lead until Pruitt's
3-pointer put them ahead 15-12 with 8:59 left in the half.