Jonah Matthews scored six straight points late in the second half, and USC’s defense dominated late as the Trojans held off the Arizona State Sun Devils 71-61 on Saturday evening in Los Angeles.
USC (21-9, 10-7 Pac-12) led 62-57 with 6:04 left, and then held Arizona State (19-10, 10-6) to just four points for the remainder of the game. Arizona State did not score a point in the final 3:09 against the Trojans’ defense.
Arizona State, trailing by nine points early in the second half, held USC to just four points in a span of roughly eight and a half minutes to pull within one point, 54-53, with 7:35 remaining in the game. Matthews then scored six straight points to push USC’s lead back to seven at 60-53 at the 6:53 mark of regulation. The Trojans maintained a margin of at least five points the rest of the way.
USC scored 30 points in the game’s first 12 and a half minutes. Daniel Utomi hit four 3-pointers in the first half, and the Trojans shot 59 percent from the field, taking a 41-36 lead at halftime. USC built that lead to 50-41 with 16:09 left in regulation.
USC limited Arizona State to 32.8 percent shooting from the field on a 19 of 58 shooting line. Arizona State ended the game just 7 of 29 on 3-pointers, a 24.1 percent clip.
USC hit 50 percent of its field goals (24 of 48) and 45 percent of its threes (9 of 20). Utomi hit four of those triples, while Matthews hit three for the Trojans.
Matthews led USC with 23 points. Utomi added 19 while also pulling down 10 rebounds for the Trojans. Nick Rakocevic scored 13 points and grabbed 11 boards for USC. Onyeka Okongwu scored 10 for the Trojans.
Remy Martin finished with 22 points for Arizona State. Rob Edwards added 10 for the Sun Devils.
—Field Level Media