BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Chimezie Metu scored 21 points, Jordan McLaughlin added 18 and USC beat Colorado 75-64 on Wednesday night.
Tied at 58, the Trojans (20-9, 11-5 Pac 12) pulled away on a 12-0 run in the waning minutes as they continue to make their case for the NCAA Tournament. McLaughlin had two 3s as part of the burst, letting out a victorious scream after swishing the second.
Metu was 10 of 16 from the field and McLaughlin was 6 of 10, including 4 of 6 behind the arc. USC shot 55 percent for the game.
Lucas Siewert led Colorado (15-13, 7-9) with 16 points and a career-most eight rebounds. McKinley Wright IV added 12 points on a night he surpassed former star Chauncey Billups for the most assists in a season by a Colorado freshman. Wright had six assists to give him 148 on the season.
The Buffaloes didn’t score a point for 7 minutes, 28 seconds late in the second half as the Trojans pulled away.
USC led 36-31 at half, led by seven points apiece from Metu and Derryck Thornton. The Trojans hit eight straight from the field late in the half to go up 36-29, as Metu and Usher capped off the spurt with dunks.
Siewert fueled a 14-0 run, hitting two 3s and converting a 3-point play, to put the Buffaloes up 52-50 with 12:27 remaining.
USC got back on track on the road, snapping a three-game losing streak away from the Galen Center. The Trojans need to win to keep their tournament hopes alive. They have two games remaining before the Pac-12 Tournament.
Colorado, more than a longshot to make the 68-team field, would have loved a chance to deliver a serious blow to USC’s tournament hopes. As of late, there has been no love lost between these two programs. It started with Colorado coach Tad Boyle’s comments about taking extra pleasure in beating teams like Arizona, which like USC, are included in the FBI’s ongoing corruption probe into the sport. Then USC coach Andy Enfield seemingly retaliated when the two teams met on Jan. 10, calling an unnecessary timeout with 21 seconds remaining in a game the Trojans led by 12.
USC is at Utah on Saturday.
Colorado will play its final home game of the season against UCLA on Sunday.
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