EditorsNote: updates fourth graf with Oregon’s win
Southern California center Chimezie Metu had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the second-seeded Trojans into the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament with a 61-48 victory over Oregon State on Thursday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Jonah Mathews had 13 points and made three 3-pointers for the Trojans (22-10), who have won five of their past six and are solidly in the NCAA Tournament field. League assist leader Jordan McLaughlin had 13 points and four assists for USC, and Nick Rakocevic grabbed eight rebounds.
Stephen Thompson Jr. had 12 points, Drew Eubanks had 11 points and nine rebounds, and Tres Tinkle had 11 points for the Beavers (16-16). Oregon State never led after upsetting Washington in overtime in the first round Wednesday.
USC will face Oregon on Friday. The sixth-seeded Ducks beat third-seeded Utah 68-66 on Thursday. The Trojans have not earned two victories in the Pac-12 tournament since winning it in 2009.
McLaughlin made a free throw for a 50-35 lead with 6:28 remaining, and the Beavers never were closer than 11 points the rest of the way. He also had five rebounds and four steals, and he leads NCAA Division I with 236 assists.
Metu shot 10 of 15 from the floor en route his seventh 11th double-double of the season, and he blocked two shots.
The Beavers shot a season-low 30.5 percent from the floor after shooting 39.3 percent against Washington in the first round.
Tinkle, 4 of 14 from the field, extended his double-digit scoring streak to 35 games on a three-point play with 1:39 left. He had six rebounds. He was the only player in the Pac-12 to finish the regular season in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
USC beat Oregon State for the third time this season and has won the last six in the series.
USC committed seven turnovers, three in the second half, and averages a league-low 10.5 per game. The Trojans are 10th in NCAA Division I with a 1.52 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Trojans shot 45.3 percent from the field after making only 32.3 percent in an 83-72 loss to UCLA in the regular-season finale last Saturday. The Beavers made just 30.5 percent of their field-goal attempts Thursday.
—Field Level Media