Stewart scores 28 points, leads USC past Oregon State 72-59
By RICHARD J. MARCUS
LOS ANGELES (AP) Perhaps no team in the Pac-12 Conference prospers on its home court as much as Southern California. The Trojans 72-59 win over Oregon State on Saturday night was USC's seventh consecutive conference victory at the Galen Center. On the other hand, the Trojans have lost their last four Pac-12 games on the road.
"The Pac-12 is tough, especially on the road," USC guard Jordan McLaughlin said. "You've got to win all of your home games and try and steal a couple on the road."
Elijah Stewart scored 28 points on 9-of-10 shooting, including 5 of 5 from 3-point range. McLaughlin added 13 points and 11 assists for the Trojans (19-9, 10-5 Pac-12).
"Stewart is a tremendous shooter," USC coach Andy Enfield said. "He is obviously a confident player."
Despite Oregon State's attempt to limit Stewart with varying defensive schemes, the Beavers execution didn't pan out.
"We didn't do a good job of finding him (Stewart) in man-to-man or zone," Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said. "He really stepped up when they needed him."
Stewart, a senior guard, was able to hit shots from different parts of the court and McLaughlin found him open numerous times for 3-pointers. Stewart scored eight points in the first four minutes of the second half.
"Tonight was one of my better shooting nights. Everything just felt good. Everything felt natural," Stewart said. "They (the Beavers) tried to make adjustments on me but they weren't able to do it the whole game."
USC remains tied with UCLA for second place in the conference standings.
The Trojans prowess at home (12-3 overall and 7-1 in the Pac-12) has kept them near the top of the conference standings.
"It's so hard to win on the road, this is as deep a Pac-12 conference as I've seen," Enfield said. "We are fortunate to hold home court. You have to try and win as many games as you can at home."
The Beavers, in 10th place in the standings, played USC close but wilted down the stretch. Oregon State (13-13, 5-9) was outscored 17-8 in the final six minutes. Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks led the Beavers with 16 points. Tinkle also grabbed 10 rebounds.
"Oregon State played very well, they are very physical," Enfield said. "They are a talented team."
Oregon State hosts No. 22 Arizona on Thursday and No. 25 Arizona State on Saturday.
USC travels to Colorado on Wednesday and Utah on Saturday.
USC was without junior forward Bennie Boatwright, who suffered a left patella injury last Thursday that will sideline him for the remainder of the season. Saturday's game against the Beavers was the Trojans first after Boatwright's injury. He is not expected to have surgery.
Oregon State is 0-7 in Pac-12 conference road games, losing all by single digits except against the Trojans on Saturday. The Beavers are 10-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field. The Beavers shot 47 percent against USC.
USC's sweep of the season series from both Oregon schools this season is the first time the Trojans have done it since 2008.
USC's 10-5 record in Pac-12 play is the Trojans best conference start since they were 11-5 in 2007.
Updated February 18, 2018