LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A blowout victory did more than allow all 13
Southern California players to see action. It gave the Trojans a
chance to work on a few things.
Nick Young led five players in double figures with 22 points and
USC routed Bethune-Cookman 88-36 Thursday night for its sixth
consecutive home victory.
"It was a team thing all the way down to the last man," said
Lodrick Stewart, who added 14 points. "They threw a lot of
defenses at us, so we could practice our stuff."
The Trojans (7-2) haven't lost at the new Galen Center since a
season-opening overtime defeat to South Carolina.
Their 52-point victory margin was the largest since defeating UC
Irvine by 62 points on Dec. 15, 1996. The Trojans held an opponent
to under 36 points for the first time since 1955 against Oregon
No team has shot 40 percent or better against the Trojans this
season, and the Wildcats (2-5) didn't come close at 29 percent
against the nation's second-best field-goal percentage defense.
"We want an identity," Stewart said. "Coach is asking us,
`What is this team's identity?' It's locking people down and not
letting them get second shots."
"We were able to sustain effort on our motion offense," USC
coach Tim Floyd said. "Every team needs a game or two like that."
Jimmy Hudson led the Wildcats with a season-high 22 points,
including a season-best six 3-pointers. He nearly single-handedly
kept them in the game in the first half, scoring 14 of their 18
points, including four 3-pointers.
"You've got to be able to spread it around and get more people
involved," Bethune-Cookman coach Cliff Reed said. "One guy can't
carry you. Not at this level, not against Pac-10 competition."
The Wildcats went long stretches without scoring in the second
half of their worst loss of the season. The Trojans ran off 15
unanswered points, including seven by Young, to build a 62-29 lead.
Young electrified the announced crowd of 2,117 with a spin move
that culminated in a one-handed dunk in the spurt.
"We didn't play well offensively, but that was due to them,"
Reed said. "They were relentless in their in-your-face pressure."
The Wildcats didn't equal their first-half scoring output until
Dewayne Pettus completed a three-point play with less than a minute
left. They commited 21 turnovers.
Bethune-Cookman lost its fourth in a row, and fell to 0-3 on its
four-game West Coast trip. The tiny school from Daytona Beach,
Fla., plays at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, finishing off its
first-ever games against California teams.
The Wildcats were coming off a 92-64 loss at No. 22 Oregon on
"On the road trip, we're wearing down in the second half,"
Damitrius Coleman head-butted USC's Daniel Hackett at the end of
the half. Hackett got off the floor and had to be restrained by his
teammates as Coleman ran off. The referees spoke to Coleman before
the second half began.
"I guess he got frustrated," said Hackett, who, like Coleman,
went scoreless. "It's not fun getting head-butted. I got a little
mad, but my teammates kept me calm."
Reed, who said he didn't see the head-butt, said Coleman felt he
had been fouled.
Coleman was called for an intentional foul with 5½ minutes left
in the game after taking out Galloway on his way to the basket.
Galloway made both free throws for a 69-30 lead.
"I didn't see it," Floyd said. "I didn't want them to throw
the kid out, though. It wasn't a big deal."
USC's All-Pac-10 guard Gabe Pruitt, who missed the first nine
games after being declared academically ineligible, is awaiting
posting of fall semester grades on Dec. 22. He has been practicing
with the team since last week.
"He got his grades and he's in good academic shape," Floyd
said. "I trust that Gabe will be eligible on the 22nd."