FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Ronnie Moss had 20 points, Nikola Gacesa scored inside and outside quickly after halftime and TCU went on to a 81-69 victory over Southern California on Monday night.
Gacesa opened the second half with a layup for the Horned Frogs (5-2) and his 3-pointer capped their 7-0 run in the first 79 seconds, leading to a timeout from frustrated USC coach Kevin
That was part of a 17-2 run that gave TCU a 47-33 lead after the Trojans (4-4) had gone ahead before halftime.
USC extended a strange pattern with its second consecutive loss.
The Trojans opened the season by winning their first two games, lost the next two, then won two more games before their latest losses.
Gacesa and Hank Thorns scored 12 points each and Garlon Green had 10 for TCU, which is 4-0 at home this season.
Thorns had eight assists.
Nikola Vucevic led USC with 16 points, while Alex Stepheson had 14 and both grabbed 10 rebounds. Bryce Jones had 13 points.
TCU played its fourth game in eight days — and won for the third time in that span — after it was announced earlier Monday that the Horned Frogs are moving from the Mountain West to the Big East
Conference in all sports after next season.
They will become part of a basketball league that currently has 16 members.
While Gacesa got the Horned Frogs off to a fast start after halftime, Amric Fields made a 3-pointer that bounced high above the rim and then fell through the hoop with 10 1/2 minutes left for a 60-47 lead.
A minute later, Thorns made a nice bounce pass in the lane to J.R. Cadot for a layup. Cadot was fouled and made a free throw.
Thorns, a junior who sat out last season after transferring from Virginia Tech, also had assists on TCU’s first two baskets after halftime — layups by Gacesa and Garlon Green.
Like Thorns, Cadot (junior college) and Gacesa (Florida International) are transfers who made their debuts this season with TCU and third-year coach Jim Christian.
The Trojans wrapped up a season-opening stretch of eight games in 17 days, their most games in such a span since playing eight times in 15 days to start the 1983-84 season. They get an extended break before hosting 19th-ranked Texas on Sunday night.
After trailing by as many as nine points early, USC went ahead 29-28 on two free throws by Maurice Jones with 4 minutes left in the first half. But the Horned Frogs responded with 10-2 run before
Moss’ layup started the half-ending spurt, and he hit two free throws in the closing seconds for a 38-31 lead.
In between Moss’ scores, Green had a layup and a putback dunk on a missed 3-pointer.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)