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USC holds off a surging Washington State, 86-77

USC guard Jordan McLaughlin splits a pair of Washington State defenders during the first half of a game on Feb. 4.
(Kai Eiselein / Associated Press)

Chimezie Metu scored a career-high 29 points, grabbed eight rebounds and USC outlasted Washington State, 86-77, on Saturday night.

Metu finished 12 of 14 from the field. Jonah Mathews chipped in 18 points and six boards for the Trojans (20-4, 7-4 Pac-12), who have won four straight.

After a Josh Hawkinson dunk with 10:17 left gave the Cougars a two-point advantage, USC scored 15 of the next 17 points to take the lead for good.

Ike Iroegbu finished with 22 points and nine assists, and Hawkinson had 17 points and 16 boards for the Cougars (11-12, 4-7).

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The teams traded momentum and the lead throughout the first half. WSU made 5 of its first 11 3-point attempts, but the Trojans turned a 20-8 interior scoring advantage into a five-point halftime lead. Thanks to Metu’s offensive performance, the Trojans ultimately won the interior battle and shot 57.1 percent from the field.

Bennie Boatwright started and scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds for USC after coming off the bench the game prior. It was his second game back from a knee injury sustained Nov. 30.

Each team turned the ball over 10 times, but USC turned WSU’s into 15 points, while the Cougars had six points off turnovers.

USC next

Thursday vs. Oregon State, 8 p.m., Galen Center, Pac-12 Networks — USC won the teams’ first matchup this season, 70-63.

sports@latimes.com


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