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USC Enters Tournament Bubble After 62-46 Win Over ASU

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nikola Vucevic finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Southern California had little trouble beating Arizona State 62-46 on Saturday.

USC’s conference-leading defense harassed the Sun Devils into their worst shooting effort of the season as the Trojans won their fourth straight and fifth in six tries.

Alex Stepheson had 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Donte Smith added 12 points on three 3-pointers as USC (17-12, 9-7 Pac-10) sent out its four graduating players in style on Senior Day.

Trent Lockett and Keala King both had 14 points to lead last-place Arizona State (10-18, 2-14), which shot just 30.6 percent and went 3 of 14 from 3-point range.

This was a one-sided affair from the start. USC shot 53 percent and hit five 3-pointers while applying stingy defense in opening a 20-point halftime lead.

Up by two, the Trojans put together a 10-2 run that included a 3-pointer and free throw from Vucevic for a 21-11 lead, which swelled into a 38-18 advantage at intermission.

The Sun Devils looked every bit the part of the conferences worst team in the first 20 minutes. They set a season low for points in a half with 18 and had no assists on their eight baskets.

Arizona State finished with only four assists in losing for the 11th time in 12 games.

The Trojans scored 10 straight points spanning both halves to open their largest advantage at 43-18.

The victory moved USC to 12-0 when holding the opposition under 60 points. The Trojans entered the game leading the Pac-10 by allowing 62.8 points a game.

USC seniors Marcus Simmons, James Dunleavy, Stepheson and Smith played their final games at the Galen Center.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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