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USC builds 24-point lead, more than enough to outlast Arizona St.

Jan 21, 2023; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils forward Jamiya Neal (5) fouls USC Trojans forward Joshua Morgan (24) during the first half at Desert Financial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Peterson scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the second half and visiting Southern California held Arizona State to 25-of-65 shooting from the floor to roll to a 77-69 win on Saturday in Tempe, Arizona.

The Trojans (14-6, 6-3 Pac-12) trailed for just 44 seconds and pushed their lead to as many as 24 points in the second half. USC built enough of a cushion to weather a late-game rally from Arizona State, which scored the game’s final 16 points over the closing 4:35.

Peterson led four USC scorers in double figures, joined by Boogie Ellis with 18 points and 12 each from Tre White and Vincent Iwuchukwu. That marked a career-high for Iwuchukwu, the 7-foot-1 blue-chip freshman who suffered cardiac arrest in July.

Saturday was just the fourth game for Iwuchukwu since being cleared to play. He came off the bench to add five rebounds and one blocked shot.

Kobe Johnson chipped in eight points for USC along with six rebounds. Peterson led the Trojans in rebounding with eight and matched Ellis’ game-high with four assists.

Arizona State (15-5, 6-3), which came into Saturday’s contest holding opponents to 38.3 percent from the floor for the season, surrendered more than 50 percent to USC for much the night before the closing flurry.

The Sun Devils held the Trojans without a point for 4:51, but the deficit proved too great to overcome.

Warren Washington led all scorers with 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots. Desmond Cambridge Jr. added 17 points. No other Sun Devils player scored more than eight, which Austin Nunez provided off the bench.

The loss was Arizona State’s second straight at home after giving up a second-half rally to UCLA in a matchup for first place on Thursday. The consecutive defeats dropped Arizona State into a bottleneck of five teams tied for second place in the loss column in the Pac-12.

–Field Level Media