It was a tough, hard-fought battle, but the USC Trojans will take a road win anyway they can get it. USC got 26 points and 12 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic, and defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils 63-61 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. It was the first conference road win for the Trojans this season, who evened their record in Pac-10 play to 4-4.
USC came into tonight at 4-17 on the road in their last 21 conference road games, including finishing the last two seasons 2-7 on the road in the Pac-10. Tonight was the 12th double-double for Vucevic, who made 10 of his 17 field goal attempts. On the season, the junior forward from Montenegro leads the Trojans averaging 16.0 points and 10.1 rebounds through 21 games. USC dominated inside tonight, outrebounding ASU 36-24, and scoring 20 points in the paint compared to just 10 for the Sun Devils.
USC dished out a season high 20 assists, a remarkable total for just 24 field goals made. The Trojans shot 48% on the night, including 40% (six of 15) from three-point range. USC allowed the Sun Devils to shoot 45.5%, something which normally leads to a loss for the Trojans. USC is 2-8 this season when opponents shoot 40% or higher from the field.
Maurice Jones added 14 points for the Trojans, including three shots from beyond the arc, and had six rebounds and six steals. ASU was led by Rihards Kuksiks with 22 points, including five three-pointers, and Ty Abbott, who poured in 19 points, including three from distance. ASU made nine of 19 three-pointers on the night to keep the game close. USC travels to Tucson to play Arizona on Saturday afternoon.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles.