LOS ANGELES — Jordan McLaughlin scored 20 points and Southern California defeated Colorado 70-58 on Wednesday night.
McLaughlin made all four of his 3-pointers for the Trojans (12-6, 3-2 Pac-12). They led most of the game in winning their third in a row against the Buffaloes. Chimezie Metu added 14 points and 13 rebounds.
George King led Colorado with 21 points. Freshman McKinley Wright IV, the Buffs’ leading scorer at 16.2 points, was held to seven points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Led by McLaughlin, the Trojans pulled away in the second half after leading by four at the break. He had two 3-pointers, a layup and a free throw that pushed their lead to 55-45.
Metu ran off six points in a row, extending USC’s lead to 65-53. He made four straight free throws before throwing down a huge dunk.
Colorado (10-7, 2-3) stayed within striking distance in the first half on the strength of six 3-pointers, which the Trojans matched.
But the Buffs couldn’t get a sustained scoring run going over the final 20 minutes, when McLaughlin and Metu were backed by solid defense from their teammates.
Colorado: The Buffs experienced a letdown after sweeping the ranked Arizona schools at home last week. The loss leaves them in the lower half of the league standings, one of five teams with a losing record.
USC: The Trojans’ defense has stepped up since allowing Washington to shoot 67 percent in a loss on Dec. 29. Their last four opponents have shot 97 of 234 (41.5 percent) from the field. USC is 8-0 when holding the opposition to under 40 percent shooting.
Colorado: Visits UCLA on Saturday.
USC: Hosts Utah on Sunday. The Trojans lost their only meeting with the Utes last season.