January 1, 2018 / 4:32 AM / 10 months ago

Stewart leads USC past fading Washington State

Stewart leads USC past fading Washington State

Elijah Stewart scored 17 points, and Southern California used a big second-half run to put away Washington State 89-71 Sunday night in Los Angeles.

USC outscored the Cougars 17-2 to take a 69-46 lead midway through the second half.

The Cougars didn’t threaten the rest of the way.

Nick Rakocevic came off the bench and scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting as six Trojans reached double figures in scoring. He added nine rebounds.

USC (10-5, 1-1 Pac-12) has won six of its past seven games.

Washington State’s Malachi Flynn had a game-high 21 points, and Carter Skaggs came off the bench to add 18, 15 of which came from 3-point range.

The Cougars (8-6, 0-2) have lost six of eight since a 6-0 start to the season.

USC got off to a fast start and held a double-digit lead for much of the first half.

Flynn and Robert Franks scored five points each during a 13-2 Cougars run that cut the USC lead to 33-30 with 2:55 left in the half. However, the Trojans finished the half with an 8-1 run.

The Trojans made 5 of 9 shots to start the game and jumped out to a 17-4 lead.

The Cougars were 1 of 9 — including 1 of 7 from beyond the arc — over the game’s first seven-plus minutes.

Skaggs hit a 3-pointer to cut the USC lead to 19-12 midway through the first half.

The Cougars play just once in the next 11 days, when they host Washington on Saturday.

After nine consecutive home games, the Trojans take to the road for meetings with California and Stanford next weekend.

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