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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Usc Game Report

March 18, 2001|EARL GUSTKEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Charting the Lead: A look at the Trojans' lead or deficit by the minute.

First Half

USC: 35

Boston College: 31

What Happened: The game's theme was established early, USC often throwing or kicking the ball out of bounds but building a huge edge in rebounds--and dunks. After Jeff Trepagnier's second consecutive dunk with 16:10 to play, USC pulled even at 8-8. With 5:13 to play, USC had committed 10 turnovers but had a 19-7 edge in rebounds. Boston College did a poor job of managing the shot clock, frequently taking questionable shots with double-digit seconds remaining. USC stitched together a 6-1 run to end the half. Without the turnovers, USC might have built a fat halftime lead.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: Sam Clancy set the tone for USC's dominating inside game two minutes into the half with a hard foul on point guard Troy Bell. Trepagnier's dunks were a catalyst for the Trojans because the game's pace suddenly quickened and USC took best advantage of it.

Winning Number: 2. Trepagnier's consecutive dunks were the plays that energized USC.

Wrong Number: 16. That's how many points the Eagles scored off turnovers by the Trojans.

Leading Scorers: USC--David Bluthenthal 14. Boston College--Bell 11.

Leading Rebounders: USC--Brian Scalabrine 8. Boston College--Bell 4.

Second Half

USC: 74

Boston College: 71

What Happened: USC managed to pull this one out without its most important player on the floor in the final, frantic seven minutes. After point guard Brandon Granville fouled out, Trojan fans had to endure the pain of watching the 6-foot-9 Scalabrine and 6-7 Bluthenthal handle the ball in the backcourt. Granville's backup, Robert Hutchinson, was put into a high-pressure situation with 37 seconds left. No one was sure what kind of free-throw shooter he was because he had shot only seven all season. But he made two to give the Trojans a 71-68 lead. When it was over, it seemed as if USC's rebounding edge (41-28) overcame its 27 turnovers, while Boston College seemed to rely too much on Bell.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: The dumbest of the 47 fouls committed by the two teams was made by Scalabrine, who fouled Bell--an 87% free-throw shooter--as Bell attempted a three-point shot with 14:30 to play. It was his fourth personal and it took him out of the game at a time when his passing and rebounding skills were badly needed.

Winning Number: 9. That's how many points Granville scored in his 13-minute second half, after going scoreless in the first half.

Wrong Number: 27. USC turnovers: They just kept coming.

Leading Scorers: USC--Clancy 10. Boston College--Bell 21.

Leading Rebounders: USC--Clancy 8. Boston College--

Kenny Harley 3.

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