Trojans' Wild Ride Ends
Taj Gibson
Taj Gibson
SCPlaybook.com
Posted Mar 22, 2009


The USC Trojans' wild late-season ride has ended with a hard-fought 74-69 loss against the Michigan State Spartans in the second-round of the NCAA Tournament. Look inside for more.

The USC Trojans' wild late-season ride has ended with a hard-fought 74-69 loss against the Michigan State Spartans in the second-round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Trojans' struggles in the month of February have been well documented, going 1-6 while looking like their NCAA Tournament bubble had burst, but the team came together in March, winning six-straight games and capturing the Pac-10 Tournament Championship.

The excitement continued into the NCAA Tournament where the Men of Troy put together an impressive 17-point victory over the seventh-seeded Boston College Eagles on Friday. In the win, forward Taj Gibson was a perfect 10-for-10 shooting from the field, but the big man never got on track Sunday and the magic finally ran out.

The Trojans' battled the whole game and gave the second-seeded Spartans all that they could handle, behind the smooth play of freshman DeMar DeRozan and grit of point guard Daniel Hackett.

DeRozan had 18 points and 5 rebounds, Daniel Hackett added 13 points and Dwight Lewis led all scorers with 19.

Gibson, who was the hero on Friday, managed to score just 3 points and didn’t have a single rebound before fouling out with 4:36 left in the game. He did contribute on the defensive end with five blocked shots.

Leonard Washington had 10 points and seven rebounds, but like Gibson, he watched a good portion of the second half from the bench with four fouls.

Gibson and Washington only played 24 and 23 minutes respectively.

For the Spartans, 6-foot-2 guard Travis Walton came up big with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The senior guard who averaged just 4.9 points on the year, picked the ideal time for his best offensive output of his career.

After a Dwight Lewis free throw tied the game at 69 with 3:53 left, Walton made a jump shot that proved to be the difference in the game.

Guard Durrell Summer gave the Spartans a spark off the bench, with 11 points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes of play.

Delvon Roe and Kalin Lucas both added 10 points.

With the 74-69 win, the Spartans advance to the Sweet 16 where they will face No. 3 seed Kansas on Friday in Indianapolis.

USC finished the season 22-13 and set school records with three-straight 20 win seasons and three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com



Related Stories
Trojans Advance on Gibson's Perfect Night
 -by SCPlaybook.com  Mar 20, 2009
Trojans Learn Their Dance Partner
 -by SCPlaybook.com  Mar 15, 2009
PHOTOS: Pac-10 Tournament Champs
 -by SCPlaybook.com  Mar 14, 2009

MAGAZINE COVERAGE
Get the 2014 Scout.com Recruiting Yearbook with an annual Total Access Pass
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from SCPlaybook.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
G Daniel Hackett (profile)
SG Dwight Lewis (profile)
F Leonard Washington (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Basketball > Archbishop Rummel HS > Alumni
Basketball > St. John Bosco HS > Alumni
Basketball > USC
Basketball > Washington/Marion Magnet HS > Alumni
[View My HotList]