By Jeff Faraudo
Saturday, December 26th, 2009 at 9:35 am in Basketball.
Good morning all. Hope everyone had a great Christmas.
Did you notice how the Trojans celebrated the holiday?
They won their sixth straight game, holding UNLV (10-2) to a season-low point total in a 67-56 win in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. USC suddenly looks to be — perhaps along with Arizona State — the most serious threat to Cal and Washington at the top of the Pac-10 Conference.
The Trojans (8-4) are unbeaten in four games since Charlotte transfer Mike Gerrity took over at point guard. He scored 13 points in the win over UNLV, and earned tournament MVP honors. Gerrity, a one-time prep star at Mater Dei HS in Santa Ana, is averaging 14.8 points and 4.3 assists, shooting 53 percent from the field.
Marcus Johnson had 19 points and nine rebounds and Dwight Lewis scored 14 against the Runnin’ Rebels, who were unranked in the AP top-25, but were No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
Power forward Leonard Washington, academically ineligible for USC’s first eight games, has averaged 9.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg in two games since being cleared to play.
The win was USC’s third in the past four games against teams that had previously lost just once. The Trojans also beat Tennessee and Saint Mary’s.