LOS ANGELES – Jordan McLaughlin scored 18 points, dished out seven assists and led four players in double figures to propel Southern California to a 77-61 win over Loyola Marymount on Wednesday night.
McLaughlin also had four rebounds and three steals. Julian Jacobs scored 14 points, Nikola Jovanovic had 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Katin Reinhardt added 11 points for the Trojans (5-3), who have won three straight.
USC led the entire second half by at least three possessions and limited the Lions (3-4) to 36.8 percent shooting, the sixth time in eight games the Trojans have held their opponent under 40 percent.
USC had 17 fast-break points compared to just four for LMU
Evan Payne scored 19 for the Lions and was their only player in double figures. LMU committed 16 turnovers as it dropped its second straight.
Tied at 16-16 midway through the first half, USC found its stride and exploded for a 20-5 run to close the half. Nine different Trojans scored during the spurt, highlighted by 3-pointers from Reinhardt, Jacobs and Malik Marquetti, as USC rolled into halftime up 36-21.
The Trojans couldn't quite keep up that dominance but nonetheless led comfortably throughout the second half. Jacobs scored 10 of his 14 points after the break to keep LMU at bay, and the Lions never got closer than nine.
With the game already firmly in hand, the Trojans went on a 13-4 run in the final minutes to turn it into a blowout. McLaughlin hooked up with Jacobs on a vicious alley-oop dunk to get the run started.
LMU: Payne entered averaging 21.7 points per game. He had scored at least 20 points in five of the Lions first six games this season.This was the first game of a six-game road trip for the Lions. They're next home game isn't until Dec. 29....Dunlap was an assistant coach at USC from 1986-89.
USC: The Trojans turned it over 13 times Wednesday and are averaging 11.4 turnovers their last five games. They averaged 18.7 turnovers in their first three contests.USC improved to 48-8 all-time against LMU. The Trojans have lost to the Lions only twice since 1976.
LMU: Visits Northern Arizona on Dec. 13.
USC: Hosts Utah State on Sunday.