The roster spread the points evenly throughout the high-scoring show, with junior forward Bennie Boatwright adding 18 points and redshirt junior Derryck Thornton dropping an additional 12 points. In total, seven Trojans scored on the night, with only two players remaining silent. The game was over by halftime, as the Trojans exploded to a 47-33 lead and completely locked down the Cougars’ offense. Although the home team bounced back in the second half, outscoring the Trojans 51-46 on the back of sharpshooting from 3-point range by junior point guard Ahmed Ali, it wasn’t enough to chip away at the dominant USC lead. With Rakocevic wreaking havoc throughout the paint, the Cougar defense was forced to collapse around the forward, creating open space for the Trojans to move the ball. When the kick-out came, junior guard Jonah Mathews was ready from 3-point range. Mathews’ trademark quick-release shot was deadly from behind the arc, and although he hardly took a dribble on the night, Mathews finished 6-for-7 from long range with 20 points. Junior forward Nick Rakocevic maneuvers a defender to get to the basket against UCLA Jan. 19 at Galen Center. (Ling Luo/Daily Trojan) The win in Pullman will help the Trojans begin to balance their road record; they had formerly won only a single game outside of Galen Center while dropping seven losses. The team remains ranked at No. 2 in the conference, but three Pac-12 teams — USC, Oregon State and Arizona State — are all evenly matched at 6-3 in conference play. Washington remains on top and undefeated in the conference after beating both USC and UCLA this week. After dropping the first game of its Pacific Northwest series, the men’s basketball team bounced back to solidly route the Washington State Cougars in a 93-84 win Saturday night. Saturday was another explosive night for junior forward Nick Rakocevic, who led the team with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Rakocevic bullied his way to the rim throughout the night, out-muscling the Cougars despite their comparable size in the post. On a missed free throw in the first half, he bounded after his own shot and sank a layup in a single step. Heading into the weekend, the team knew that the game against Washington State was a must-win — as one of the bottom two teams with only one conference win to their name, the Cougars represented a guaranteed win that could gauge the Trojans’ ability to finish games. With this hurdle neatly accomplished through a blowout victory, the team will now turn its attention to visits from Utah and Colorado this week.
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