Stewart, USC fend off Arizona State

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[January 23, 2017]  Elijah Stewart scored 29 points to help USC hold on for an 82-79 victory over Arizona State in a Pac-12 Conference game Sunday evening at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

Jordan McLaughlin had 18 points and eight assists for USC (17-4, 4-4 Pac-12). Jonah Mathews scored 14 points while Nick Rakocevic had 11 points and eight rebounds.

Torian Graham scored 24 points for Arizona State (9-11, 2-5). Obinna Oleka had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Tra Holder and Shannon Evans II had 14 points apiece.

USC went up by 12 early in the second half, but Arizona State wouldn't go away. The Sun Devils got within eight on a layup by Oleka, cut the deficit to three on a 3-pointer by Kodi Justice and pulled within one on a layup by Graham.

Stewart answered with a 3-pointer to spark a 13-3 run that put the Trojans up 76-65. The Sun Devils made one last charge to cut the deficit to thee with 1:09 to go. They had a chance to tie the game in the waning moments, but Graham and Evans missed 3-pointers in the final seconds.

Stewart made two 3-pointers to fuel an early 8-0 run that gave USC a 14-8 lead six minutes into the opening half. The Trojans went ahead 21-14 on a dunk by Stewart and extended the lead to 12 on a 3-pointer by Shaqquan Aaron.

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Arizona State Sun Devils guard Tra Holder (0) drives the ball defended by Southern California Trojans guard Elijah Stewart (30) during the first half at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State battled back to get within four on a 3-pointer by Evans. The Sun Devils cut the deficit to one on a three-point play by Holder, but McLaughlin made three 3-pointers over the final 3:24 to help the Trojans carry a 45-38 advantage into the break.

USC shot 51.6 percent from the field and made 14 of 27 from 3-point range. Arizona State shot 50.9 percent and made nine 3-pointers.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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