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USC Vs. Northern Arizona: Trojans Avoid Letdown

Led by Donte Smith, who finished with a career-high 22 points, USC avoided a letdown against unranked Northern Arizona, notching a 60-52 win over the visiting Lumberjacks Saturday.

Smith, along with junior forward Nikola Vucevic, finished with a combined 33 points, to give the Trojans (6-4) their second consecutive win, the team’s third two-game winning streak of the year.

The victory, however, snapped NAU’s seven-game winning streak, the program’s longest since the 2005-2006 season.

Despite a 12-point lead at halftime, the second half tilted in favor of Northern Arizona, which utilized a zone defense and opened the half on a 16-7 that cut the Trojans’ lead to 38-35 with 9:27 remaining in the final period.

But at that moment, Smith caught fire, scoring 14 points to extend USC’s lead to 54-40 with 5 1/2 minutes to play. His five three-pointer in the game were a career-high.

USC’s next game is Dec. 18 against Kansas in Lawrence, where the Jayhawks currently hold a 64-game home winning streak.

For more USC hoops news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Conquest Chronicles.