LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tre White and Reese Dixon-Waters each scored a career-high 20 points on combined 17-of-26 shooting and Southern California never trailed Wednesday night in its 88-78 win over Long Beach State.
White made 9 of 14 from the field and Dixon-Waters, who also had a career-best five assists, two steals and two blocks, was 8-of-12 shooting. Drew Peterson had 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for USC and Kobe Johnson made 5 of 6 from the field and finished with 14 points.
The Trojans scored the first seven points and took a 20-8 lead when Dixon-Waters made a layup with 12:48 left in the first half. Marcus Tsohonis hit a jumper and then a 3-pointer to spark a 10-4 spurt that trimmed Long Beach State’s deficit to 66-65 — the closest the Beach had been since USC led 2-0 — with 8 minutes to go but the Trojans scored 11 of the next 13 points to take a 10-point lead when White hit a 3-pointer to make it 77-67 with 4:22 remaining.
USC (8-3) has won four in a row since losing to No. 6 Tennessee and No. 22 Wisconsin on back-to-back days at the Battle 4 Atlantis last month.
The Trojans have won nine consecutive games played in the month of December, dating to an 82-72 loss to Colorado on New Year’s Eve, 2020, and is 17-2 in December over the past four season.
LBSU (4-6) has lost three straight games and four of its five.
Tsohonis led Long Beach State with 17 points, Aboubacar Traore added 16 points and 16 rebounds and Joel Murray scored 14.
Boogie Ellis had 13 points and five assist for USC but shot just 3 of 13 from the field.
Long Beach State outrebounded the Trojans 50-32, including 22-10 on the offensive glass, and built a 27-12 advantage in second-chance points.
USC shot 49.2% (32 of 65) from the field and hit 11 3-pointers while limiting LBSU to 41% (30 of 73) shooting. The Trojans, who went into the game averaging 6.2 blocks per game (No. 4 nationally), finished with seven blocks — including four by Joshua Morgan, whose 33 blocks ranked No. 2 in the nation going into the contest.
Long Beach State plays NAIA-member Life Pacific at home Monday
USC wraps up a four-game home stand Sunday against No. 18 Auburn
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The Associated Press