Drew Peterson led a balanced scoring effort with 15 points, Joshua Morgan added 12 points, four blocked shots and three steals, and Southern California won in its return home to Los Angeles on Thursday, 68-61, against Pac-12 Conference counterpart Colorado.
The Trojans (12-5, 4-2 Pac-12), playing their first home game since Dec. 18, led for more than 34 minutes en route to snapping a two-game losing skid.
USC jumped to a 15-3 lead early, but Colorado battled back to cut the deficit to two points by halftime.
The Buffaloes (11-7, 3-4) opened the second half on an 8-2 run to take a four-point lead, but the advantage did not last long.
Five Trojans players scored during a 10-0 run that gave USC a lead it never relinquished. The balance over the Trojans’ pivotal stretch of 2:45 mirrored their scoring approach throughout the contest, as six players finished with at least eight points.
Two of Peterson’s points came on a critical fadeaway with 1:35 remaining. Colorado had cut the gap to 60-59 on two of KJ Simpson’s game-high 17 points before Peterson’s basket gave USC separation.
Boogie Ellis scored 14 points and dished a game-high six assists, Reese Dixon-Waters added nine points off the bench, and Tre White notched eight points. Kobe Johnson registered another eight points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, distributed five assists and made a key steal with 1:16 left in the game.
Johnson’s takeaway was one of Colorado’s 22 turnovers, which USC converted into 20 points. The Trojans committed just nine turnovers, and the Buffs scored only seven points on takeaways.
Tristan da Silva and Lawson Lovering each registered 13 points for Colorado. Javon Ruffin shot 3-of-6 from 3-point range en route to 12 points off the bench.
–Field Level Media