Saturday, March 14, 2009

USC Wins First PAC-10 Tourney Title

USC 66, Arizona St. 63

Down by 15 points at the half, the USC Trojans battled all the way back, finally taking a 64-63 lead on a pair of Daniel Hackett free throws with 43 seconds left and Taj Gibson blocked a potential game-tying shot to hold off the Sun Devils and win their first PAC-10 title in the 12-year history of the tournament.

The Trojans fell behind 39-24 at the break, but outscored Arizona State 42-24 in the second half, with a combination of stout defense and timely shooting, including a game-high and career-high 25 points from freshman forward DeMar DeRozan.

The #6 seed in the tournament, USC beat Cal, UCLA and Arizona State to capture the title and the automatic invitation to the NCAA tournament.

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