By Jim Peltz
6:37 PM PST, January 26, 2014
USC's basketball team battled back against Stanford at the end of regulation play Sunday to force overtime at the Galen Center.
But that's when the Trojans' bid for a second consecutive Pac-12 Conference win came to a halt.
Three-point baskets by Chasson Randle and John Gage in the five-minute overtime period spearheaded the Cardinal's 79-71 win over USC.
"We played very hard today and had a chance to win," USC Coach Andy Enfield said. "In overtime they made some tough shots."
The loss dropped the Trojans' record to 10-10 overall and 1-6 in Pac-12 games, while Stanford improved to 13-6, 4-3.
Stanford held a 61-56 lead with 1 minute 30 seconds left in regulation play after Cardinal forward Josh Huestis sank a three-point shot.
But USC's Pe'Shon Howard sank a three-pointer of his own with 34 seconds left to get the Trojans within two points.
Then, as Stanford guard Anthony Brown started to work the ball up the court, he lost the ball out of bounds while dribbling, giving the Trojans one more chance.
USC's Byron Wesley then drove to the basket, was fouled and converted both free throws to tie the score and send it to overtime.
In overtime, Stanford held a three-point lead with 2:53 remaining when Gage, coming off the bench, sank a three-point shot to effectively put the game away.
It was Gage's third three-pointer of the game, and he finished with 12 points overall. Randle led the Cardinal with 17 points and Huestis had 16 points.
Wesley paced the Trojans with 18 points, while Howard and J.T. Terrell each scored 13 points. Howard, a senior guard, also had a career-high seven steals.
"I tip my hat to Randle," Howard said. "I let him off the hook in overtime. He did a great job of controlling the game. We need to keep working. These last two games are better than the previous five. We need to learn from it and try to get some big wins on the road."
USC next makes the Oregon swing, playing Oregon State in Corvallis on Thursday followed by a game against Oregon in Eugene on Saturday.
For Stanford, the victory was unusual because Southern California has been hostile territory for Stanford in recent years.
The Cardinal entered the game 1-16 in its previous 17 road games against USC and UCLA combined, including its 91-74 loss to UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday.
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