February 24, 2018 / 9:59 PM / a month ago

Metu powers USC past Utah

Chimezie Metu finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and four blocks to lead USC to a 74-58 win against Utah on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Jordan Usher scored 14 points while Elijah Stewart added 10 points for the Trojans. USC (21-9, 12-5 Pac-12) swept the season series after losing eight straight games to the Utes before this season.

David Collette scored 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead Utah. The Utes (18-10, 10-7 Pac-12) went six minutes without scoring late in the second half to open the door for the Trojans to pull away.

Turnovers ultimately doomed Utah. The Utes had 15 turnovers, leading to 22 points for USC.

Utah struggled to get on track offensively during the first half. The Utes shot just 9-of-26 (34.6 percent) from the floor, opening the door for USC to take control as the half progressed.

The Trojans opened up a double digit lead behind a 13-2 run. USC scored on three straight possessions — punctuated by a dunk from Jordan Usher off a steal — to finish off the spurt and carve out a 33-17 lead.

The Trojans gained an advantage by maximizing offensive rebounds and turnovers. USC turned six offensive boards into 12 second-chance points and six Utah turnovers into 12 points. The Trojans held a 12-0 advantage on second-chance points over the Utes before halftime.

Utah made three straight baskets, culminating in a Donnie Tillman dunk, to cut into USC’s lead before halftime. The Utes whittled it down to single digits early in the second half. Utah ripped off an 8-0 run and trimmed USC’s lead to 43-36 on back-to-back layups from Collette and Tyler Rawson.

The Utes got as close as six points, cutting it to 55-49 on Collette’s putback layup. Stewart responded with back-to-back backdoor dunks to spark a 14-0 run for the Trojans. Usher buried a 3-pointer and then fed Derryck Thornton for a layup to cap the spurt, giving USC a 69-49 lead with 4:58 left.

—Field Level Media

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