USC 83, California 66
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Lodrick Stewart scored seven of his 23 points during a decisive second-half run, and Southern California beat short-handed California 83-66 Thursday night.
Stewart, a sophomore averaging nearly 15 points, has scored 20 or more six times this season and eight in his career. He also had season-high totals of seven rebounds and four steals as the Trojans (9-9, 2-5 Pac-10), who won their second straight following a five-game losing streak.
Errick Craven, still recovering from a sprained right ankle, scored 12 points and freshman Gabe Pruitt added 11 points and four assists for USC. Jeff McMillan had 11 rebounds to go with eight points for the Trojans.
Marquise Kately scored 12 points for California (8-8, 1-5), which lost its fourth in a row and fifth in six games following a 7-3 start. Kately went scoreless in two of his previous three games and shot 0-for-8 in a 74-58 loss to Stanford last Saturday.
David Paris added 11 points, Eric Vierneisel had 10 and freshman Kevin Langford scored a career-high nine for the Golden Bears.
The win was just USC’s fifth in the last 16 games between the schools.
The Bears played without Richard Midgley and Dominic McGuire. Midgley, averaging a team-leading 15.1 points, sat out because of a sprained right shoulder. McGuire, averaging 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds, was benched for violating a team rule.
Stewart made a 3-pointer and two baskets; Pruitt added six points, and Rory O’Neil scored four during a 17-4 spurt that gave the Trojans a 61-49 lead midway through the second half.
The Bears weren’t closer than 10 points after that.
Cal, using a lineup of players who had combined for 14 of a possible 75 starts previously and averaging 26.1 points, jumped out to a 14-3 lead. Paris had six points and the other four starters two each at that stage.
O’Neil made a 3-pointer to trigger a 17-5 run, giving the Trojans a 20-19 lead. Stewart added two more 3-pointers during the spurt.
Neither team led by more than four points during the remainder of the first half, which ended with the Bears on top 35-33.
Cal shot 15-of-29 to USC’s 9-of-27 in the opening 20 minutes, but the Trojans were 11-of-13 from the foul line while the Bears were 3-of-8.
USC shot 17-of-32 (53.1 percent) in the second half to finish at 44.1 percent. Cal shot 42.3 percent after halftime to finish at 47.3 percent. But the Bears were just 10-of-24 from the foul line while the Trojans were 21-of-26.