Ellis sparks Southern Cal past Washington State 80-70
Boogie Ellis scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half to offset a big night by Washington State's Mouhamed Gueye and Southern California pulled away late for an 80-70 victory on Thursday night.
Ellis hit 5 of 9 from 3-point range, adding five rebounds and four assists for the Trojans (16-6, 8-3 Pac-12 Conference). Drew Peterson finished with 20 points, six rebounds and four assists. Peterson sank 8 of 13 shots, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. Tre White made 6 of 9 shots and scored 14.
Gueye, a sophomore, finished with a career-high 31 points for the Cougars (10-14, 5-8). He made 14 of 21 shots with a 3-pointer and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. Justin Powell hit 3 of 4 from distance and scored 11.
Gueye hit his first six shots and his three-point play gave Washington State a 26-13 lead with 9:34 left in the first half. From there, Peterson scored eight of his 14 first-half points and the Trojans moved in front 37-35 at halftime.
Gueye scored the first two baskets of the second half and the Cougars grabbed a two-point lead. Gueye surpassed his career high with his 26th point on a dunk with 17:32 left to play and hit a hook shot against a double-team the next trip down the floor for a 43-40 Cougars' lead. Ellis followed with a free throw and two 3-pointers to give USC a 49-47 lead with 14:20 remaining.
The Trojans stayed in front until Powell buried a 3-pointer to put the Cougars ahead 65-63 with 4:29 left. Peterson hit the second of two free throws, Kobe Johnson followed with a 3-pointer and the Trojans never trailed again. It was Johnson's only shot of the game in 30 minutes of play. He missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw.
Andy Enfield picked up his 199th win in his 10th season at USC. The Trojans won their third straight game and avenged an 81-71 loss to the Cougars earlier this season. WSU hasn't won at USC since 2015. The Trojans improved to 11-0 this season in games with a 7 p.m. (PST) or later tip-off.
Washington State: The Cougars travel to play No. 9 UCLA on Saturday.
USC: The Trojans host Washington on Saturday.
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