Friday, January 30, 2009
USC Holds off Stanford 70-69
Some of us in the Galen Center Student Section could not bear to watch the last 14.6 seconds of last night's game. On USC's final possession, USC guard Daniel Hackett went to the foul line with a chance to stretch USC's 70-69 lead, but he missed the front end of a one and one, giving Standford a chance for a game-winning shot. You could here a pin drop as Taj Gibson contested Stanford forward Lawrence Hill's turnaround jumper from the baseline. The ball rimmed out as the final buzzer sounded and the crowd let out a collective sigh. Through sheer will and determination, the Trojans found a way to win this game and improved their record to (14-6) overall and (5-3) in the Pac-10. More after the jump!
The Trojans were not even close to being full strength for this game earlier in the week. Following their Washington road trip, Gibson learned that he had pneumonia, Hackett came down with the flu, and Dwight Lewis and Leonard Washington were still finding their way back from ankle injuries. Coach Tim Floyd received great news on Thursday morning went it all four players were cleared and ready to play. The Trojans got some great energy from Washington, who started the game and scored 12 points, including 8 points in the first few minutes of the 2nd half. However, it was Marcus Johnson who may have provided the spark that led to the Trojans' victory. In the first half, Marcus got the crowd excited with a ankle-breaking fast-break dunk and then followed up a high-flying Demar Derozan dunk with his own version of the same dunk, only more electrifying. See photos below (courtesy of SCPlaybook.com).
You can see some of the highlights here, courtesy of Fox Sports.
A lesser team would have let this game slip away. However, this team continues to show toughness, heart, and resiliency. The Trojans wrap up the first half of the conference schedule against Cal this Saturday and 8:30pm. A win would put the Trojans at (6-3) in the Pac-10 as it enters the remaining 9 games of the regular season beginning with fucla next Wednesday at pauley pavilion. So let's get out there and fill the Galen Center.
Fight On! Beat the Bears!