Wednesday, January 26, 2022

USC vs. Stanford score: Cardinal hand No. 5 Trojans first loss, leaving No. 1 Baylor as last unbeaten team

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USATSI

The ranks of the unbeaten in college basketball dwindled to just one on Tuesday night when Stanford upset No. 5 USC 75-69, handing the Trojans (13-1, 3-1 Pac-12) their first loss and leaving No. 1 Baylor as the only undefeated team in the sport. Stanford (9-4, 2-1) got 21 points each from Spencer Jones and Harrison Ingram as the Cardinal secured their first win over a top-five team since 2007.

USC led 33-26 late in the first half, but the Cardinal closed the half on a 6-0 run and used some timely 3-point shooting from Jones, Ingram and Noah Taitz to keep USC from building anything greater than a five-point lead in the second half. Ingram’s 21 points were a career-high, and the five-star freshman also pulled down 10 rebounds for the third double-double of his young career.

For a Stanford team that entered ranked No. 101 in the NET, the win could provide a jolt entering the heart of conference play. The Cardinal have now won five of their last six but lacked a quality victory on their resume. Monday’s outcome should result in a nice bump for the Cardinal in the NET ranking, and while it was technically a home win for Stanford, it came in front of a nearly empty Maples Pavilion due to COVID-19 protocols.

USC’s unbeaten start was, in part, a reflection of a manageable schedule. Coming off an Elite Eight appearance in last season’s NCAA Tournament, the best win on the Trojans’ ledger was a neutral-site victory over San Diego State. Isaiah Mobley led USC with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the loss. It was the defense that betrayed the Trojans. They entered holding teams to shooting just 27.5% from beyond the arc, which was 18th-best in the country. But Stanford’s 10 of 23 mark from 3-point range made the difference.

Baylor is currently putting its unbeaten mark on the line Tuesday night against No. 19 Texas Tech.

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