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Peterson Helps No. 16 USC Beat Utah, 79-67

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Drew Peterson scored 23 points and Boogie Ellis added 18 to power No. 16 Southern California past Utah 79-67 on Saturday..

USC v Utah
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Boogie Ellis #0 of the USC Trojans slam dunks the ball against the Utah Utes during the first half of their game January 22, 2022 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

When the Utes finally got within single digits with 5:38 to play, Max Agbonkpolo dunked and Peterson hit a 3-pointer for USC (16-2, 6-2 Pac-12).

Peterson made all five of his 3-point attempts and went 9-for-10 from the field in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.

USC's 16-2 start to the season is its hottest since the 1970-71 team -- often considered the best Trojan team ever -- began 17-1 on its way to a 24-2 record.

Now at full-strength in his initial injury-riddled season, Gabe Madsen had a career-high 20 points for Utah (8-12, 1-9). Lazar Stefanovic scored 10 for the Utes, who have lost eight straight.

The Trojans' height bothered the Utes around the rim and their quickness disrupted the Utah offense. A 42-30 rebound disparity helped give the Trojans 15 second-chance points and 40-20 advantage on points in the paint.

USC led by as many as 15 in the first half when Peterson made a 3-pointer to make it 29-14. Madsen's trio of 3s and some key hustle plays brought the Utes with 35-30 at the half.

Branden Carlson, Utah's leading scorer, is nearing a return but sat out and has now missed five games due to appendicitis.

USC defeated Utah 93-73 on Dec. 1 in Los Angeles.


USC: The Trojan offense wasn't exactly a smooth-running machine but it was enough, especially when Peterson heated up and they got a few easy fast break points in the second half. The USC defense was suffocating nearly all game and held Utah to 36-percent shooting.

Utah: The Utes honored Wat Misaka, a member of Utah's 1944 NCAA and 1947 NIT title teams, a Japanese American who passed away in 2019. Playing for the New York Knicks, Misaka was the first non-white player in the Basketball Association of America, the precursor to the NBA. Even recent glory days of Utah seem far away when comparing skill against a team like USC, but the Utes still play hard amid the mounting losses.


The Trojans ranked as high as No. 5 before losing conference games to Stanford and Oregon, but a rare mountain sweep of Colorado and Utah may give the Trojans a boost back toward the top 10.

(© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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