USC 81, Western Michigan 74

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Lodrick Stewart took care of USC's outside game against Western Michigan and Gregg Guenther handled the inside. Stewart scored 21 points, including 15 in the first half, and Guenther added a career-high 20 as the Trojans ended the Broncos' six-game winning streak Saturday with an 81-74 victory. Guenther's previous best was 17 points last Feb. 12 against Arizona. Stanes Bufford led Western Michigan with 21 points and Levi Rost and Ben Reed added 16 points apiece. After the game, it was reported that Rick Majerus had resigned as USC's new coach and would stay with ESPN as a college basketball analyst. Majerus was hired Wednesday to replace Henry Bibby, who was fired Dec. 6 after nine seasons at USC. Majerus wasn't scheduled to assume the head coaching duties until April 1, serving until then as an assistant to interim coach Jim Saia. Saia and the USC players were not immediately aware of Majerus' decision to resign, with Stewart saying he noticed a big change in the team since Saia took over and was looking forward to playing for Majerus next season. "No disrespect to coach Bibby, but I didn't think he believed in this team," Stewart said. "It's hard for players to play for him. It's a different feeling playing for coach Saia." Of Majerus, Stewart said, "I know he's a good coach and he wants to win games." With Stewart hitting from the perimeter, USC built a 43-28 halftime lead. The Trojans (4-3) maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half, but Western Michigan (6-3) got within 10 points at 69-59 before Stewart hit a key 3-pointer with 4:50 remaining in the game. "Lodrick had a great ballgame today," Saia said of the sophomore. "He's really bought into what were doing. He's a work in progress and were trying to calm him down a little, but he plays hard and with great energy." Stewart made 8 of 14 shots, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range and scored 20 or more points for the third time in four games. Guenther, a former tight end on the USC football team, made 9 of 16 shots from the field and also took 8 rebounds in 33 minutes in a reserve role. "I'm glad Guenther had a good game," Stewart said. "Our whole team stepped up. It wasn't just one guy." USC played without senior guard Errick Craven, who was suspended for one game by Saia for conduct detrimental to the team. Saia said Craven, the Trojans fourth-leading scorer with an average of 9 points going into the game, would join the team for its next game Tuesday against Indiana State. The Trojans made 7 of 18 3-pointers in the first half and 11 of 29 for the game. "We lost the game in the first half," Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins said. "We just couldn't get them out of the post. They hadn't had much of an inside presence until now. Once they established the inside, we had to deal with the inside as well as the outside." The Broncos played the final game of a three-game road trip that took them from coast to coast and totaled 5,873 miles.

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