USC played some of its finest basketball on both ends of the floor as it came away with a blowout 87-64 victory over Washington State Wednesday night at the Galen Center in a bounceback game for the Trojans after a devastating loss to Arizona State on Sunday.After opening the game on a 22-7 run that was capped with a 3-point field goal from freshman guard Jonah Mathews, USC did not take its foot off the gas pedal offensively for the remainder of the contest.With its 25-point rout of the Cougars, the Trojans were able to put an end to a brutal four-game losing streak that had spanned the past two weeks. Wednesday night’s victory over Washington State was also USC’s 22nd win of the regular season. It’s the first 22-win season since 2009.“We played really well on both ends of the ball. We were able to get deflections and that led to buckets and good passing in transition,” head coach Andy Enfield said. “It’s been nice to see our team begin to shoot the ball better over the past couple of games now.”Battling to the top · Junior guard Elijah Stewart powers through two defenders to take a shot in the paint against Washington State in the Galen Center. Stewart and the Trojans overwhelmed the Cougars to win 87-64 – Katie Chin | Daily TrojanUSC opened the game by hitting five of its first eight shots from beyond the 3-point arc. Overall, the Trojans finished Wednesday night shooting 35-for-66 from the floor (53 percent).Junior guard Jordan McLaughlin brought arguably his finest performance of the regular season thus far, finishing the game with 16 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, a rebound shy of his first career triple-double.“We tried to focus all week on playing good defense, and we were able to lock down tonight,” McLaughlin said. “We did a good job of sticking to the game plan.”The Trojans were able to find favorable shot selection all night due to their ability to make the extra pass for the easy bucket. USC finished the game with 25 assists.McLaughlin contributed to the Trojans’ fast start offensively, as he hit his first three 3-point shot attempts of the game.The Trojans’ largest lead of the game came after a jumper from junior guard Elijah Stewart put the Trojans ahead 70-42 with 12:29 remaining in the game.Sophomore forward Chimezie Metu put pressure down low for the Trojans, finishing the game with 15 points (6-of-12 shooting), nine rebounds and three blocks defensively.As a unit, the Trojans were able to put on a strong defensive effort as they finished the game with nine steals and seven blocks.“It was definitely one of our top [performances in] games played this season,” McLaughlin said. “As far as our team having a sense of urgency, we knew that we really needed to focus for tonight’s game.”USC’s ability to capitalize upon Washington State’s offensive miscues in the first half helped the Trojans develop their large halftime lead. USC scored 17 points off of the Cougars 11 first-half turnovers.The Trojans committed only two turnovers offensively in the entire first half.USC’s combination of scrappy defense, efficient offense and solid transitional play helped them develop a comfortable 48-28 lead at the half.The Trojans kept the pressure on Washington State offensively to finish the game, as they shot 17-for-30 (56.7 percent) from the floor in the second half.USC will look to keep its hot shooting going as it concludes its regular season at home this Saturday with a contest against visiting Washington. With Pac-12 Tournament play and NCAA Selection Sunday all transpiring within the next two weeks, USC will attempt to use Saturday’s contest against the Huskies as a springboard into postseason play.“I told the guys that we are playing a two-game season right now,” Enfield said. “We won the first game and now we have a one-game season to be played Saturday. We’ve had by far the toughest schedule in the Pac-12. We’ve played the top-three teams twice, so it’s definitely nice to have our last two games being played at home.”
The Tipperary Senior Camogie Manager says he’s no injury concerns ahead of their All Ireland quarter-final.Brian Boyle’s got a clean bill of health for the game against Galway at Semple Stadium on Saturday evening.Their last win over Offaly in their last match of the group stages secured their qualification for the knock out stages. Boyle says it’s a good place to be but it doesn’t make his selection decisions any easier…That quarter-final throws-in at 7 o’clock Saturday evening at Semple Stadium and TippFMs live coverage is brought to you by FOH Financial Limited, Dr. Croke Place, Clonmel
Yohan Blake, the 2011 IAAF World Championships and double London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallist, had his first 200m race since early June last year, before injury ruled him out of last summer’s World Championships and he sped to a 20.49 win at the UWI Invitational in Mona, Jamaica, on Saturday (22).”It’s my second race of the season (after a rare 400m outing six weeks ago) and I am feeling good. I am working on my fitness, right now I am 60 per cent and I am really feeling good,” a happy Blake told local reporters at the Usain Bolt Track.Blake’s run came into a gentle 0.1 metres-per-second breeze.”I have to give God thanks, as well as the coach; for me to come out here and run 20.4 is really good. I ran the curve really slow compared to how I normally run, but my coach told me to take it easy and that’s what I did.”All the signs are pointing towards Blake being in contention to be part of the Jamaica contingent going to the IAAF World Relays in nearby Bahamas, the inaugural edition of this event being staged on 24-25 May.Blake’s Racers Track Club team mate Schillonie Calvert, who ran a vital third leg in Jamaica’s sparkling 4x100m win in Moscow last summer, won the women’s 200m in 23.20 (0.1 mps), just holding off Anastasia LeRoy who was second in 23.25. Shericka Williams, the 2008 Olympic 400m silver medallist, was third in 23.51.In the 400m, Ristananna Tracey took the honours in 52.50 seconds. Allodin Fothergill was quickest in the men’s 400m in 45.94.The men’s field events saw some good throwing.Raymond Brown won the men’s shot put with 20.17m, winning by 20cm from Odayne Richards, who reached 19.97m.Fredrick Dacres, the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships discus winner, has already been showing good form in his first year in the senior ranks. In January, he set a personal best of 64.36m and on Saturday, having turned 20 last month, he had the second best competition of his career with the 2kg implement when he launched it out to 62.05m.Local 200m rivals Warren Weir and Jason Young, who both ran under 20 seconds for the longer sprint last year, decided to duel over 100m with Weir, the Moscow 2013 200m silver medallist winning in 10.31 to Young’s more modest 10.49, with the wind picking up slightly towards the end of the meeting and the sprinters running into a 0.7 mps breeze.