BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Jeriah Horne hit a career-best six 3-pointers on his way to 24 points, McKinley Wright IV had a career-high 14 assists and Colorado routed No. 19 Southern California 80-62 on Thursday night to sweep the season series.
Wright added 15 points for the Buffaloes (18-7, 12-6 Pac-12), who have won six straight against the Trojans (19-5, 13-4). Already the school’s career leader in assists, Wright and his speed gave the Trojans fits all evening. His 14 assists tied for the second-most in program history. The record is 15 by Jose Winston against Coppin State on Jan. 2, 2001.
In an efficient performance, Colorado had 20 assists on 27 baskets.
The loss was a blow to USC, which fell a half-game behind rival UCLA (17-5, 13-3) for first place in the Pac-12 race. The Trojans are chasing their first regular-season conference title since 1984-85, when they shared the crown. Their last outright league championship was in 1960-61. Talented USC freshman Evan Mobley had 13 points. He entered the game averaging 16.8.
Mobley’s brother, Isaiah, returned to the court after missing a game with a strained right calf. He had two points.
Behind the shooting of Horne, the Buffaloes opened a 17-point lead midway through the second half but saw the Trojans make one final run and cut it to 10. The Buffs weathered the storm and Wright helped wrap it up from the free throw line with a limited number of fans in attendance.
USC: Could be the end of USC’s run in the Top 25. The team shot 38% from the floor.
Colorado: The Buffaloes have 21 wins over ranked opponents under coach Tad Boyle. His teams have accounted for 32% of the program’s wins over ranked foes (65) since 1949-50.
ON THE MARK
The Buffaloes are challenging single-season Pac-12 and national records with their stellar free throw shooting. After going 14 of 15 from the line Thursday, they’re shooting 83%. The conference record for a season is 78.6% by Arizona in 2003-04 and the NCAA Division I mark is 82.2% by Harvard in 1983-84.
Colorado’s best-ever mark stands at 77.8% in 2010-11.
Wright was called for a technical late in the first half. Horne and Eli Parquet picked up technical fouls in the second.
USC: At Utah on Saturday. The Trojans beat the Utes 64-46 on Jan. 2.
Colorado: Host UCLA on Saturday. The Buffaloes lost 65-62 at UCLA on Jan. 2.
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