Stanford 58, USC 56

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Once Chris Hernandez stepped to the foul
line, his Stanford teammate Matt Haryasz knew the game was won.

"I knew they were in just like every time he shoots them,"
Haryasz said. "Actually I was more surprised the game was tied. I
thought Chris had hit a 3-pointer and we were up by a point."

Hernandez, who has made 77 of his 81 fouls shots in conference
play, sank two free throws with four seconds left to lead Stanford
to a 58-56 victory over Southern California on Thursday night.

"It feels good to be on the other side of these close games,"
Hernandez said. "I know how USC feels. We've been there numerous
times the last couple of weeks."

Hernandez finished with 16 points and Dan Grunfeld added 14 as
the Cardinal (15-11, 11-6 Pac-10) won its second straight. Matt
Haryasz had nine points and 11 rebounds.

Lodrick Stewart scored 17 points to lead the Trojans (17-11,
8-9), who lost their fifth in seven games.

"Stanford stayed tough," USC coach Tim Floyd said. "They made
their free throws when they were needed."

Gabe Pruitt, who scored 13 points, returned to the Trojans
lineup after missing five games with a left knee injury and made an
immediate impact, helping to generate some early offense. Pruitt
has reached double figures in 21 of the 23 games he's played. Nick
Young had 10 points.

Pruitt was called for the foul on Hernandez to set up the
winning shots.

"The guy is a 96 percent free throw shooter or something like
that," Pruitt said. "I was not going to foul him. I thought the
whistle was going to be on him. I didn't hit him at all. He tripped
on his own and fell down."

Hernandez saw it a little differently.

"He was giving me some space and I felt like he was kind of off
balance," Hernandez said. "I gave him a hesitation and got a step
on him. Then he moved into me. Maybe he was trying to take a
charge. He came over and knocked me down."

Haryasz blocked three shots to move into sole possession of
third place on Stanford's all-time list with 123.

Hernandez hit a short jumper with a minute to play to tie the
game at 54 and Haryasz made both of his free throws with 35 seconds
left to give Stanford a 56-54 edge.

Abdoulaye Ndiaye made a 2-foot jumper with 12.2 seconds left to
tie the game.

"We were fortunate to win," Stanford coach Trent Johnson said.
"USC was just like I expected."

The Cardinal scored the first seven points of the second half to
stake itself to a 35-27 advantage but the Trojans roared back.
Pruitt hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 43 with 9:57 left to play
and Nick Young hit a short jumper 30 seconds later to put USC

The Trojans carried a two-point lead until Hernandez hit his
shot thanks in part to Stanford, the Pac-10's top free throw
shooting team, missing three of four foul shots in the previous
three minutes.

Sparked by Pruitt's return, the Trojans scored 10 of the game's
first 13 points but then hit a cold spell, missing 13 of 15 shots
during which Stanford went on a 22-4 run to take a 25-14 lead with
5:30 left in the half.

USC outscored the Cardinal 13-3 the rest of the way to draw
within 28-27 at halftime.


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