Sports

Gauchos can't slow down USC's Metu and McLaughlin

Metu and McLaughlin too much for UCSB

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Chimezie Metu scored a career-high 31 points and Southern California beat UC Santa Barbara 98-87 on Sunday night, snapping the Gauchos' seven-game winning streak.
    
Elijah Stewart added 19 points, Jonah Mathews had 16 points and Nick Rakocevic had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Trojans (6-3). Jordan McLaughlin had a career-high 19 assists which ties a Pac-12 record.
    
Gabe Vincent and Max Heidegger scored 17 points each for the Gauchos (8-3), who fell to 1-14 in the all-time series. Leland King II added 15 points.
    
USC hit five 3-pointers in the first seven minutes of the second half and opened a 73-48 lead, its largest of the game. Metu had consecutive long-range baskets.
    
The Gauchos answered with a 21-6 spurt, including eight by Vincent, to close to 79-69. But they never got closer.
    
Metu took over from there, scoring eight of USC's next 10 points and extending the Trojans' lead to 89-73. He had four dunks in the second half, two of them coming back-to-back during his offensive spurt. The junior forward had 20 points in the second half.
    
McLaughlin's 3-pointer pushed USC's lead to 98-78.
    
The Gauchos cut their deficit to 38-30 before the Trojans closed the half on a 14-3 run to lead 52-33 at the break. Stewart and Mathews scored five points each and Rakocevic added four.


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