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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Trojans can't push ahead

They lose contentious game to No. 6 Sooners, as Washington is ejected for elbowing. / OKLAHOMA 73, USC 72

December 05, 2008|associated press

NORMAN, OKLA — . -- Not even a cheap shot could keep Blake Griffin from leading No. 6 Oklahoma to another victory.

Griffin scored 11 of his 25 points after getting hit with an elbow in the second half, and the Sooners staved off a rally by USC for a contentious 73-72 win Thursday night.

Griffin, a preseason All-America forward, had to come out of the game after getting elbowed below the waist by USC's Leonard Washington with 13:54 left. His brief absence helped the Trojans (5-3) as they rallied from an 11-point deficit to get within one point three times, but Oklahoma (7-0) stayed poised and had an answer every time.

Washington was ejected after officials huddled to see replays of his elbow striking Griffin below the waistline as the Trojans prepared to set up their offense.

"What do you think he said? 'I didn't do it,' " said Trojans Coach Tim Floyd, who didn't see the play happen live. "He's a freshman. He doesn't know that we film everything. But he's a good guy."

Griffin missed both free throws before coming out of the game, and USC got two quick baskets -- the second a two-handed alley-oop jam by DeMar DeRozan from Daniel Hackett that cut the deficit to 52-48.

Hackett, who had a career-high 13 assists, got the Trojans within 60-59 when he drove the right baseline for a right-handed jam. But he added another dicey moment with an intentional foul against Griffin on a fastbreak.

Dwight Lewis led USC with 25 points, Taj Gibson had 12 points and 10 rebounds and DeRozan scored 10 points.

DeRozan missed a halfcourt shot at the buzzer after Oklahoma's Cade Davis missed two free throws with two seconds left.

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