This one didn't end well for the Trojans.
USC fell victim to a sluggish performance Saturday afternoon in Pullman, Wash. struggling to a 51-47 loss against Washington State.
Trojan guard Dwight Lewis led all scorers with 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting, but the senior couldn't hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds that would have tied the game at 50. Forward Nikola Vucevic added 12 for USC and reserve forward Leonard Washington pitched in eight points.
For the Cougars, guard Klay Thompson had the worst game of his career, shooting 0-for-12 from the field and scoring just two points. To top it off, Thompson also turned the ball over five times and shot just 2-of-5 from the free-throw line.
But sophomore guard Abe Lodwick was surprisingly effective for Washington State, scoring a team-high 12 points on six shot attempts. Lodwick was scoreless when the two teams played at the Galen Center last month.
Washington State led by four, 23-19, at halftime, before USC quickly tied the score at 23 early in the second half. But the Cougars proceeded to put together a 9-0 run -- the game's longest -- and take a 32-23 lead.
The Trojans closed the gap to just one point, 45-44, with 1:33 to go in the game, but Washington State's Reggie Moore (11 points) hit a big 3-pointer on the next possession. With seven seconds left, Lewis' last shot to tie the game was no good, and the Cougars took home the victory.
The loss pushes the Trojans (16-10, 8-6) back to, at best, a tie for second in the Pac-10. A win, tied with a Cal loss to Oregon today and an Arizona State loss tomorrow, could have put USC alone in first.
Meanwhile, coach Ken Bone's Washington State team earned just its second victory in its last eight tries. The Cougars (16-11, 6-9) still rank near the bottom of the conference.
Next up for USC is a flight home to Los Angeles and preparation for a Thursday night game against Oregon. The Ducks are currently last in the Pac-10, but they managed to beat the Trojans last month in Eugene, Ore.
Notes: Former men's basketball coach Tim Floyd's job is done at the NCAA hearings in Tempe, Ariz., our Ted Miller reports. But USC's appearance before the NCAA's Infractions Committee continues...While Washington State has lost 17 straight times to UCLA at home, the Cougars have beat the Trojans six of the last seven times the teams played in Pullman.