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USC men's basketball takes down Colorado 68-61

Drew Peterson scored a team high 15 points to lead the Trojans

LOS ANGELES — When USC needed him most, Drew Peterson delivered to push the Trojans to a 68-61 win over Colorado.

Defended tightly by Buffaloes junior Tristan da Silva, Peterson called his own number and hit a tough step back from inside the right wing to give USC (12-6, 4-2 in Pac-12) a 62-59 lead with 1:35 left. Colorado (11-7, 3-4 in Pac-12) came up empty on its next two offensive possessions and then the Trojans made six consecutive free throws to win once the Buffaloes began to foul in desperation.

"Drew did hit a big shot," USC head coach Andy Enfield said. 

Peterson scored a team high 15 points. Boogie Ellis scored 14. Josh Morgan scored 12 points and had four blocks. KJ Simpson paced Colorado with 17 points. Lawson Lovering and da Silva each scored 13 points for the Buffaloes in defeat.  

"I thought our guys played very hard," Enfield said. "We played all 12 guys, so it was a nice team effort."

Colorado took a 40-36 lead over USC early in the second half, but then the Trojans rattled off a 14-2 run to take control and go up 50-42. Colorado got to within one point of USC, 60-59, with 2:01 to play when Simpson athletically drifted to his left and floated in a right handed shot inside the key.

But Peterson was able to answer on the other end. 

USC jumped out to a 15-3 lead to begin the game before Colorado rallied to tie the score 30-30. At halftime, the Trojans clung to a 34-32 advantage.

Iwuchukwu makes USC debut

USC true freshman center Vincent Iwuchukwu made his first appearance as a Trojan after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest during a workout in July. He played 4:44 in the first half and missed two shots. Understandably, Iwuchukwu was rusty in his debut. As he continues to play more and get his conditioning levels up, the 5-star recruit will have a chance to make more of an impact.

USC will host Utah in Pac-12 play on Saturday. The Utes sit above the Trojans in the league standings with a 5-1 record.