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Stanford men fall to USC 69-64

USC's Jordan McLaughlin, right, knocks the ball out of the hands of Stanford's Daejon Davis during the first half Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

BETH HARRIS,

LOS ANGELES — Jonah Mathews scored 18 points and USC escaped with a 69-64 victory against Stanford on Wednesday night to maintain sole possession of second place in the Pac-12 Conference with its fifth consecutive win.

Chimezie Metu added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans (16-6, 7-2 Pac-12), who have won 10 of 12.

The third-place Cardinal (11-10, 5-3) missed a chance to move into a tie for second with USC. Reid Travis led Stanford with 16 points. Michael Humphrey and Dorian Pickens each added 14 points.

Humphrey hit a 3-pointer and Daejon Davis made two free throws that got Stanford to 66-64.

Jordan McLaughlin had a rocky time in the final seconds. He missed a 3-pointer and then missed 3 of 4 free throws that left USC clinging to a 67-64 lead.

Davis missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 4 seconds left. USC regained possession and Elijah Stewart caught a long pass near midcourt and cruised in for a game-ending dunk.

Trailing by 15 points at the break, Stanford regrouped to start the second half with a 15-7 spurt. Pickens made 6 of 6 free throws and Travis added five points to cut the Cardinal’s deficit to 48-41.

The Trojans took control with a 12-0 run that turned a four-point lead into a 15-point advantage in the first half. Nick Rakocevic had five points, one of four players to score in the spurt that extended USC’s lead to 28-12.

USC led 41-26 at halftime after holding Stanford to 36 percent shooting.

BIG PICTURE

Stanford: The Cardinal shot 44 percent, ending USC’s run of holding its previous opponents to 43 percent or less.

USC: The Trojans led the entire game and were up by 10 points with 5:12 remaining before surviving their own miscues to hang on.

UP NEXT

Stanford: Visits UCLA on Saturday.

USC: Hosts Cal on Sunday.