USC holds off Arizona State 57-56 saturday in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES - Eric Wise scored 12 points and USC held off a furious rally by Arizona State, defeating the Sun Devils 57-56 on Saturday.

Bryon Wesley added 11 points and J.T. Terrell had 10 for the Trojans (14-15, 9-7 Pac-12).

Jahii Carson scored 23 points and Jordan Bachynski had 17 for Arizona State (20-10, 9-8), which lost its third in a row for the first time this season.

The Sun Devils trailed throughout but made the Trojans squirm in the final minute.

Arizona State pulled within 55-52 on Chris Colvin's basket with 53 seconds left. After a timeout, the Trojans ran down the 35-second shot clock, but J.T. Terrell missed on an outside shot. Wise, however, got the rebound, was fouled and made two free throws to put USC up 57-52

Carson scored inside and, after a USC turnover on the inbounds pass, hit another bucket that made it 57-56 with 5 seconds left.

Wise was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and missed the front end of the one-and-one free throw, but Carson's 35-footer at the buzzer was off target.

USC led by as many as 19 points in the first half, but Arizona State trimmed the deficit to 31-20 at halftime. And when the Trojans began the second half by missing their first three shots, the Sun Devils were able to get within 31-24.

USC responded, capping an 8-2 run with a steal by Terrell that led to a layup by Wise and a 39-26 advantage.

The Trojans increased their lead to 14 points at 51-37 on a bucket by Wise with 7:34 remaining, but the Devils made another push. Carson scored on a layup and Bachynski made two free throws to narrow the deficit to 10 points.

Jio Fontan was called for a flagrant foul, which gave Arizona State two free throws and the ball. Carson made both free throws and Colvin followed with a jumper to make it 51-45 with 5:40 to go.

The relatively early tip time (noon) might have affected both teams at the start as neither team scored on its first six possessions. Fontan finally got the Trojans on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer at the 16:52 mark, while the Sun Devils' first basket came on a layup by Carson with 16:10 left in the half.

The lack of offense was in contrast to the two teams' previous meeting, when they combined for 191 points in Arizona State's 98-93 overtime victory on Jan. 24.

While the Trojans started to get some shots to fall, the Sun Devils remained cold, missing 12 of their first 14 shots and allowing USC to take an 18-5 lead just past the midway point of the first half. The Trojans increased the margin to 24-7 on a fast-break dunk by Terrell with 5:55 remaining, and took their biggest lead of the half at 28-9 on a 3-pointer from the left baseline by Chass Bryan with 4:11 to go.

But that's when Arizona State seemed to wake up. The Sun Devils finished the half with an 11-3 run, scoring more points in the final four minutes than they did in the first 16 to get within 31-20 at the break.

Despite the late spurt, Arizona State shot just 36 percent (9 for 25) while committing 10 turnovers in the first half. USC shot 50 percent in the half (11 for 22) and was led by Fontan's seven points. Carson led the Sun Devils with six points.

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