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Booker scores 21, keys late run to help Colorado hold off USC 59-56 at Pac-12 tournament

  • PAC 12 USC Colorado Basketball-1.jpg

    Colorado's Josh Scott, right, is fouled by Southern California's Omar Oraby as he drives to the basket in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Pac-12 men's tournament, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

  • P12 USC Colorado Basketball-2.jpg

    Colorado's John Hopkins (23) reaches to strip Southern California's Byron Wesley of the ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Pac-12 men's tournament, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

  • P12 USC Colorado Basketball-3.jpg

    Southern California's Pe'Shon Howard (10) draws an offensive foul on Colorado's Dustin Thomas, right, as USC's Omar Oraby (55) and Nikola Jovanovic (32) help defend in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Pac-12 men's tournament, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

  • PAC 12 USC Colorado Basketball-4.jpg

    Colorado's Josh Scott, right, is fouled by Southern California's Omar Oraby as he drives to the basket in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Pac-12 men's tournament, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

  • P12 USC Colorado Basketball-5.jpg

    Colorado's Josh Scott shoots against Southern California's Julian Jacobs in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Pac-12 men's tournament, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (The Associated Press)

Askia Booker scored 21 points and keyed a late run, leading Colorado to a 59-56 win over scrappy Southern California in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday.

Their NCAA tournament hopes still up in the air, the Buffaloes could not afford a loss to the last-place Trojans.

Despite beating USC twice during the regular season, Colorado (22-10) had a hard time shaking the Trojans, unable to get much separation until going on a 13-1 run late in the second half.

USC (11-21) still had a shot at the end, but Byron Wesley's 3-pointer at the buzzer came up just short.

Josh Scott had 13 points and Xavier Johnson added 11 for the Buffaloes, who move on to face California in Thursday's quarterfinals.

Wesley finished with 23 points for the Trojans, who kept it close despite going 5 of 22 from 3-point range.