USC senior forward Mark Boyd knows that the best way for the Trojans to gain respect while playing in the same city with UCLA is to keep winning.
Which is exactly what USC did Tuesday night as Boyd scored a career-high 26 points in a 107-65 rout of Howard before 2,517 at the Sports Arena.
"Winning is all there is for us to do right now and not try to worry about anything else," said Boyd, who made 12 of 14 shots and grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds in 23 minutes.
"When the two teams in the city meet, that's when you get the respect. You can beat all the teams in the world, but the big thing is between (USC and UCLA)."
USC (6-1) won its sixth game in a row by playing its best complete game of the season, thanks to an 18-0 run to start the second half.
Their 107 points were a season high and the 42-point winning margin was their largest since 1971, when USC defeated Alabama, 122-75.
Boyd was not the only Trojan to have a career game against Howard. Sophomore guard Brandon Martin tied his best with 19 points, and freshman guard Stais Boseman came off the bench with 16 points and seven rebounds, both personal bests.
"(Howard) is not a bad team," USC Coach George Raveling said. "They just had some misfortune and we just wore them down."
Boyd, who has started 53 consecutive games for USC, was unstoppable in the first half despite being guarded by Howard's 7-foot center, Grady Livingston. Boyd made eight of nine shots to help lead the Trojans to a 52-40 lead at halftime.
After staying close in the first half, Howard (2-5) could not keep up with the Trojans' depth and was kept scoreless for the first 6:25 of the second.
"USC is a very good ballclub, a very aggressive ballclub," said Howard Coach Butch Beard, a former guard with the New York Knicks. "In the second half, in the first five minutes, USC was very aggressive . . . more than we were. From that point on, it deteriorated for us."
With Lorenzo Orr, who finished with nine points and five rebounds, in foul trouble for most of the game, USC still dominated inside.
"We have a lot of talent, but if we don't play physical, people can walk all over us," Boyd said. "I like tough, physical play. I just a have a knack for the ball. I try to set an example for the team by doing that hard-nosed stuff."
Howard was led by Donnail Diggs' 20 points and Livingston, who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
USC will take the rest of the week off before playing at South Florida Dec. 28. Freshmen Avondre Jones, who had eight points and five rebounds, was ejected for fighting and under Pacific 10 Conference rules will not play against South Florida. Tremayne Anchrum sat out his second game because of an ankle injury and is expected to be sidelined two more weeks.