Washington St. 61, Southern California 53

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PULLMAN, Wash. (AP)—Jeff Varem, Thomas Kelati and Robbie Cowgill each scored 11 points Saturday to lead Washington State in a 61-53 victory over Southern California.

Chris Schlatter added 10 points for the Cougars (10-10, 5-6 Pac-10). Derrick Low had eight points and eight assists, and Varem led all players with nine rebounds and a career-high five steals.

Gabriel Pruitt led Southern Cal (9-13, 2-9) with 10 points. The Trojans have lost four straight games to Washington State.

Southern Cal forged a 49-49 tie on Nick Young’s short jump shot with 4:57 left in the game. Kelati broke the tie and put the Cougars ahead for good with 4:30 to go when he hit one of two free throws rewarded when Southern Cal coach Jim Saia was called for a technical foul after throwing off his jacket in protest of a foul on Gregg Guenther.

Washington State held small leads most of the game, including 31-25 at the half.

The Cougars shot 55.3 percent from the field, Their only better shooting performance this season came in a 69-52 win at Southern Cal on Jan. 8, when the Cougars hit 57.4 percent. Washington State ranks among the nation’s worst shooting teams at 39.7.

The Trojans, who shot 41.2 percent from the field, accomplished a rare feat in holding without an offensive rebound.

Southern Cal outrebounded the Cougars 31-25, but Washington State held a 17-8 advantage in assists, even though each team made 21 field goals.

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