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.
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.
Stanford: Visits UCLA on Saturday.
USC: Hosts Cal on Sunday.