WSU Cougars end 12-game skid against USC with 81-71 win

Jan 1, 2023, 2:58 PM
WSU guard TJ Bamba shoots while defended by USC forward Joshua Morgan on Jan. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Jabe Mullins and DJ Rodman scored 16 points apiece, Justin Powell added 15 points and seven assists and WSU ended a 12-game losing streak to Southern California with an 81-71 victory on Sunday.

WSU 81, USC 71: Box score

Mullins came off the bench to sink 4 of 6 from 3-point range and Powell hit 4 of 7 for the Cougars (6-9, 1-3 Pac-12 Conference). Rodman buried 3 of 6 from distance and connected on 7 of 8 from the free-throw lines. TJ Bamba pitched in with 14 points and six boards. Mouhamed Gueye scored 12 and blocked three shots.

Mullins hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the middle of a 10-0 run and the Cougars grabbed a 19-11 lead with 13:11 left in the first half. Kobe Johnson’s three-point play ended the run and Drew Peterson followed with two straight baskets to pull USC within a point. Washington State answered with 3-pointers from Mullins, Andrej Jakimovski, Justin Powell and DJ Rodman to take a 31-22 lead at the 6:43 mark.

Rodman sank the Cougars’ 10th 3-pointer of the half to push the lead to 34-24 and Mullins followed with a basket off an offensive rebound. Gueye scored the final five points for WSU and the Cougars took a 41-30 lead into halftime.

Reese Dixon-Waters had a three-point play to pull the Trojans within six points midway through the second half. But Gueye hit 1 of 2 free throws, Bamba had back-to-back layups and Gueye followed with a dunk to put the Cougars up 61-48 with 8:06 left to play.

Washington State matched its biggest lead of the game, 71-56, on Jakimovski’s 3-pointer with five minutes left and the Trojans got no closer than eight from there.

Peterson topped the Trojans (11-4, 3-1) with 16 points and eight rebounds. Johnson finished with 13 points and seven boards, while Boogie Ellis pitched in with 12 points and seven boards before fouling out. Joshua Morgan scored 10.

USC saw its seven-game win streak end, as well as a three-game road victory streak to open Pac-12 play.

WSU was coming off a heart-breaking 67-66 home loss to No. 11 UCLA. The Cougars missed their last nine shots and were outscored 14-4 over the final 7:23 against the Bruins.

Friday: No. 11 UCLA Bruins rally to beat WSU Cougars 67-66


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