February 22, 2018 / 6:12 AM / 6 months ago

USC tops Colorado to reach 20-win mark

Chimezie Metu dominated the interior while teammate Jordan McLaughlin had his way on the perimeter Wednesday night, leading Southern California to a 75-64 win over Colorado in Pacific-12 action in Boulder, Colo.

The win gave USC (20-9, 11-5) its third consecutive 20-win season, while also assuring the Trojans their winningest Pac-12 campaign since they won 12 games in 2002.

USC has two Pac-12 games remaining, including a visit to Utah on Saturday afternoon.

Colorado (15-13, 7-9) saw its three-game home winning streak come to an end.

Metu saved 14 of his game-high 21 points for the second half, and McLaughlin added 13 of his 18 following the break. The Trojans broke free from a 58-all tie by scoring the next 12 points en route to the runaway win.

The Buffaloes, down by five at halftime, had rallied into a 52-50 lead at the 12:27 mark of the second half.

Metu posted his highest point total since he scored 26 against Washington in the conference opener in December. He connected on 10 of his 16 shots.

McLaughlin buried four of his six 3-point attempts, helping the Trojans shoot 50 percent (10-for-20) from beyond the arc. Elijah Stewart and Shaqquan Aaron hit a pair of 3-pointers apiece for USC.

McLaughlin also found time for a team-high six assists.

The win was the third straight overall for USC, which had lost its previous three road games.

Lucas Siewert had 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds for Colorado, which lost its third consecutive game.

McKinley Wright IV added 12 points and a team-high six assists for the Buffaloes, who equaled USC’s 10 3-pointers but shot just 41.5 percent overall compared to the Trojans’ 53.8 percent.

USC completed a sweep of the two-game season series against Colorado, having recorded a 70-58 home win in January.

Neither team led by more than seven in an evenly contested first half that ended with USC holding a 36-31 advantage.

Sophomore guard Derryck Thornton, who hasn’t totaled more than eight points in a Pac-12 game, gave the Trojans an unexpected lift in the first half with seven points. He didn’t score in the second half.

—Field Level Media

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