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Miner Turns Raveling’s Words Into Deeds : USC: He stops forcing shots, scores 24 points as Trojans beat Colorado State, 74-67.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

USC basketball Coach George Raveling pulled guard Harold Miner aside after the Trojans’ 72-59 loss at Maryland last week because Raveling felt Miner was forcing his shots.

“Coach told me to relax out there and try to pick my shots,” Miner said. “I was forcing things and I wasn’t playing my game.”

Miner, who has become more patient since meeting with Raveling, scored 24 points as the Trojans defeated Colorado State, 74-67, Saturday night at Moby Arena.

Playing before his family, which drove here from home in nearby Boulder, Colo., and sat behind the Trojan bench, Miner made nine of 13 shots, including three of four three-pointers. He also had seven rebounds, two assists and one steal.

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“The last two games, I think Harold has really started to understand offensive patience and shot selection,” Raveling said. “I don’t think Harold took a bad shot in the game tonight. He went a stretch of five minutes without a shot in the second half and he didn’t lose his poise or get frustrated.”

After noticing that Miner went five minutes without shooting, Raveling called over guards Robert Pack and Duane Cooper and told them to get Miner back into the offensive flow of the game.

Miner proceeded to score five consecutive points, making a jumper, adding a free throw and sinking a 15-footer, as the Trojans pulled away from the Rams with a 14-5 second-half run.

Forward Ronnie Coleman was a force inside, scoring 19 points, 12 in the second half. Coleman made nine of 14 shots as the Trojans shot a season-high 62.5%, including 75% in the second half.

“The thing I liked about SC is that they got the ball where they wanted it,” Colorado State Coach Boyd Grant said. “When they couldn’t get the ball to Miner, they got it inside to Coleman.”

USC outran the Rams with its transition game in the second half, which resulted in easy baskets. Of the Trojans’ 18 baskets in the second half, they had six layups and five shots inside the key.

“I told our kids that we had no chance to win unless we got some easy baskets and the best way for us to get easy baskets was for us to run on them,” Raveling said.

USC (4-1) has won three games in a row.

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Playing before a standing-room- only crowd of 9,386 at Moby Arena, where the Rams had won 18 of 19 nonconference games since Grant took over in 1988, Colorado State wore gold uniforms for the first time.

But the Trojans weren’t intimidated.

In fact, the Rams-head sign that lights up and snorts smoke when the crowd screams loud enough to ignite it didn’t get much use Saturday.

“In the past we struggled in situations like this,” Raveling said. “Any time you beat a Boyd Grant-coached team you’ve got to feel proud. This should do a lot for our confidence.”

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Leading 69-58 after Miner dunked with 1:08 left, the Trojans maintained their composure down the stretch to hand Colorado State its first loss in five games this season.

“It’s the best team talent-wise that USC has had for a while,” Grant said. “They’re really quick.”

USC used its quickness to force Colorado State guards Mark Meredith, Lynn Tryon and Wayne Gipson to shoot from outside their normal range. Meredith missed 10 of 15 shots, Tryon missed 12 of 19 and Gipson missed four of five.

After shooting 44.8% in the first half, which ended in a 28-28 tie, the Rams shot 40.5% in the second half and were outscored, 46-39.

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Trojan Notes

USC forward Ronnie Coleman passed Gus Williams to move into fifth place on the school career scoring list with 1,322 points. Williams had 1,318 points. The Trojans will play Notre Dame at South Bend, Ind., Wednesday night. . . . Colorado State made a season-low 42.4% of its shots.


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