USC guard Jonah Mathews had career-highs with 27 points and seven 3-pointers and Elijah Stewart had 15 points and three 3s to lift the Trojans into the finals of the Pac-12 tournament with a 74-54 victory over the Oregon Ducks at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Friday.
Senior point guard Jordan McLaughlin had nine points and nine assists (also 10 turnovers), Junior forward Chimezie Metu had 10 points and nine rebounds and sophomore forward Nick Rakocevic had 11 rebounds for the Trojans (23-10), who have won six of seven to cement their spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Senior forward MiKyle McIntosh had 21 points, junior guard Elijah Brown had 16 and four 3s and freshman forward Troy Brown had 11 points for the sixth-seeded Ducks (22-12), whose run toward a fourth straight appearance in the title game came to an end.
USC will meet regular-season and defending tournament champion Arizona (26-7) in the Pac-12 final Saturday night, the Trojans’ first appearance in the title game since they beat James Harden’s Arizona State team to win the 2009 tournament.
The Trojans’ zone defense limited Oregon to 33.3 percent shooting, and the Ducks had scoring droughts of 5:50 and 4:47 in the first half. They missed 15 straight field-goal attempts spanning the two halves.
McLaughlin’s steal and three-point play capped a 36-8 run that gave the Trojans a 53-25 lead with 14:37 remaining, and the Ducks never were closer than 14 the rest of the way.
The sophomore Mathews and senior Stewart combined for 29 points and seven threes as the Trojans took a 37-23 halftime lead.
USC beat Oregon for the third time this season, the first two by a total of seven points, after losing the previous 14 straight games to the Ducks.
Mathews had 20 points and five threes in the 72-70 victory over Oregon at home Feb. 15, the most recent meeting between the two.
—Field Level Media