Feb 22, 2002
Stanford, Calif. - Once the second half started, it didn't take long for No. 20 Southern California to establish control against Stanford.
David Bluthenthal scored 22 points, and Sam Clancy had his 11th consecutive double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds as USC defeated the 10th-ranked Cardinal 77-58 Thursday night for its third straight win.
After holding a one-point edge at halftime, the Trojans broke the game open with a 10-0 run coming out of the break.
"That was the crucial point of the game," said USC coach Henry Bibby, who earned his 100th victory. "We happened to get the shots and we were playing a team not making baskets. We took advantage."
Stanford scored the final five points of the first half to draw to 31-30, but couldn't maintain the momentum after the intermission.
"We just didn't compete," forward Teyo Johnson said. "The ball was bouncing their way, but we were just stagnant. It was obvious to everybody in the arena."
Brandon Granville added 13 points, and Rory O'Neil had 12 as the Trojans (19-6, 11-4 Pac-10) remained tied for first place in the conference with Oregon. USC completed its first season sweep of the Cardinal in 10 years.
Clancy leads the league with 17 double-doubles this season. He has 35 in his career.
"This was a big game because it was for first place," he said. "This was more than just a regular game. We definitely came to play."
Stanford, which has scored fewer than 70 points just three times this season, was held to its second-lowest production of the year.
"There wasn't any mystery to that one," coach Mike Montgomery said. "The team that wanted this more won, and deserved to win. They came out in the second half and we're suddenly in a hole. We didn't get very much done out there."
The Cardinal dropped to 10-2 at home with their worst defeat at Maples Pavilion since an 86-61 loss to California during the 1992-93 season.
USC improved to 9-4 on the road, best in the Pac-10 and its most road victories since winning 10 in 1985.
"We played tough defense," Bibby said. "That's what spurred the second-half run. We caught them on an off night."
The Trojans went with freshman Gregg Guenther in place of the injured Kostas Charissis, who sustained a stress fracture during warmups against Arizona last week. Guenther, who joined the team on Dec. 31 after playing tight end for the football team, became the 12th player to start for USC. He had played eight minutes in four games before Thursday night.
Stanford was missing sophomore forward Justin Davis, who's started 18 games this season. He was out with a bruised rib.
Errick Craven scored five of his 11 points during the second-half rally, and USC never let the Cardinal get back into the game. The Trojans extended the margin to 63-44 when Desmon Farmer hit a follow shot with about seven minutes left. Stanford never got closer than 15 the rest of the way.
The first half was full of wild swings. After USC took an 11-5 lead on a three-point play by Bluthenthal with 15:51 to go, Stanford scored 14 unanswered points - five each from Julius Barnes and Johnson - as the Trojans were held scoreless for six minutes.
The Cardinal's 19-11 edge didn't last long as USC went on an 11-0 run late in the half to go up 31-25. Clancy and O'Neil combined for nine points during the rally.
Granville took over sole possession of second place on the USC career games played list with 117. He needs one more to tie Duane Cooper (1988-92).
By RICK EYMER
Associated Press Writer