NCAA

No. 18 Saint Mary's barely survive against Pacific

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USATSI

No. 18 Saint Mary's barely survive against Pacific

BOX SCORE

STOCKTON -- Jock Landale had 22 points and 12 rebounds and No. 18 Saint Mary's survived a long second-half drought to win for the 14th time in 15 games, 74-70 over Pacific on Thursday night.

The Gaels (20-2, 10-1 West Coast Conference) built a 19-point lead before going 8:43 without a basket in the second half as the Tigers (8-16, 2-9) cut the deficit to three. But Saint Mary's used free throws to stay in front and have their 10th straight 20-win season.

T.J. Wallace and Anthony Townes scored 15 points each as the Tigers lost their sixth straight overall and ninth in a row to Saint Mary's.

Pacific used a 16-2 run to cut Saint Mary's big lead down to five on a 3-pointer by Wallace. A tip-in by Tonko Vuko cut it to 62-59 with just over 5 minutes to go.

Emmett Naar and Dane Pineau each made two free throws before Joe Rahon ended the long shooting drought with a layup for a three-point play that made it 69-61. That was the only basket for Saint Mary's in the final 12 minutes of the game.

Rahon finished with 14 points.

The Gaels were unable to pull away in the first half until scoring six straight to take a 10-point lead on Landale's dunk with 21 seconds left. But Wallace responded with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 41-34 at the break.

BIG PICTURE

Saint Mary's: The Gaels had done a good job staying focused on the task at hand during this seven-game stretch of games between showdowns with Gonzaga. But after taking a 19-point lead early in the second half, they fell apart and struggled to hold on at the end. Saint Mary's has won the first five to keep pace with top-ranked Gonzaga and has just two more warmups until hosting the Bulldogs next Saturday.

Pacific: The Tigers are struggling in coach Damon Stoudamire's first season and remain tied for last in the conference. But they showed progress this game with the big second-half run second before faltering down the stretch, missing seven straight shots after getting within three.

UP NEXT

Saint Mary's: Visits San Diego on Saturday.

Pacific: Visits Pepperdine on Saturday.

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

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AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.