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No. 25 USC Trojans throttle Stanford Cardinals

By The Sports Xchange

USC was not particularly sharp, but the No. 25 Trojans bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 72-56 victory over visiting Stanford on Thursday night at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.
Jordan McLaughlin scored 15 points and Chimezie Metu recorded his fourth double-double, posting 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans (15-1, 2-1 Pac-12), which was coming off a loss to No. 15 Oregon.
De'Anthony Melton scored 12 points for USC. Jonah Mathews added 10.
"It was a nice Pac-12 home opener for us," USC coach Andy Enfield said. "We played hard and played good defense. We were fortunate to win."
Marcus Allen and Dorian Pickens scored 13 points apiece for Stanford (8-7, 0-3), which lost six of eight after going 6-1 to start the season. Josh Sharma had eight points and seven rebounds.
Reid Travis, Stanford's leading scorer, was held out with a right shoulder injury.
The game started slowly with the teams combining to miss 10 of their first 13 shots, including three layups. Stanford went 1 of 8 in the opening minutes and trailed 10-2 after Elijah Stewart made a 3-pointer for USC.
The Cardinal got within four on a dunk by Michael Humphrey, but the Trojans scored the next seven points to go up 19-8 on a 3-pointer by Shaqquan Aaron. The Cardinal battled back to cut the deficit to two on a jumper by Grant Verhoeven, but the Trojans held a 36-28 advantage at the break after scoring the last six points of the half.
USC went up by 10 early in the second half, took a 43-32 lead on a 3-pointer by Aaron and stretched the lead to 14 on a 3-pointer by Mathews. Stanford got within eight on a couple occasions later in the second period, but the Cardinal couldn't get any closer.
The Trojans took a 62-48 lead on a 3-pointer by Melton and led by as many as 18 following a layup by Melton with just under three minutes remaining. They had lost five in a row against the Cardinal.
USC won fairly easily despite shooting 42.1 percent from the field and making only 8 of 25 from 3-point range. The Trojans had a 38-32 rebounding advantage but committed a season-high 18 turnovers. They had 17 turnovers in the 84-61 loss to Oregon on Friday.
The Trojans held Stanford to 36.4 percent shooting. The Cardinal made only 4 of 15 from beyond the arc and committed 21 turnovers.
"We played well with a lot of effort and passion tonight," Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. "Our guys cared and put forth a solid effort, but clearly we have a long, long way to go to reach our goals."
USC is off to its best start since the 1970-71 season, when the Trojans won their first 16 games en route to a 24-2 record. They have done it despite the absence of Bennie Boatwright, who missed the past nine games with a sprained knee.
"There's a lot of growth in us still," Enfield said. "We didn't shoot well tonight. We were streaky. We had to grind it out. To be 15-1 without Bennie, the other players have done a good job in a variety of ways."
-- USC coach Andy Enfield earned his 100th career victory.
-- USC is 25-2 in its last 27 games at the Galen Center.
-- Stanford's game against No. 4 UCLA on Sunday will be its third in a row against a ranked team, the first time the Cardinal faced three consecutive ranked opponents since the 2001-02 season.
-- Stanford is 0-4 against ranked opponents this season.

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