Karen Ambrose Hickey
Men's Basketball

Comeback Cardinal

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Bryce Wills scored four of his 11 points in the final 14 seconds and Stanford rallied to beat USC 79-76 on Wednesday night at Maples Pavilion.

KZ Okpala scored 18 points to lead the Cardinal (13-11, 6-6 Pac-12), which has won four of its last five. Marcus Sheffield came off the bench and scored 16 points. Josh Sharma added 14 points and had nine rebounds. Five members of the Cardinal scored in double figures overall, with Oscar da Silva pouring in 10 points. 

"His shooting is a big piece of what he brings," Stanford coach Jerod Haase said about Sheffield. "He brings stability. He's even-keeled."

Bennie Boatwright scored 19 points to lead the Trojans (13-12, 6-6), who lost at Stanford for a fifth straight time. Nick Rakocevic scored 15 points and had 11 rebounds.

Wills hit a layup with 14 seconds remaining to put Stanford ahead 77-76. He missed an ensuing free throw and USC called time to step up a play.

Boatwright missed a jumper and Wills grabbed the rebound.

"Our biggest takeaway from this game is that our upper classmen have to be able to finish games in the last minute, and they have to do a better job, point blank," Trojans coach Andy Enfield said. "It was a good game. Both teams played hard, played well, and it came down to the end, and we could not finish. Very simple."

Sheffield hit a 3-pointer to bring the Cardinal within 76-75 and Sharma made a key steal at the other end.

"It was a set play," Sheffield said. "I came off my screen and knocked it down."

Stanford took its first lead of the game with 12:02 remaining to play when Sharma sank a short jumper for a 52-51 advantage.

Seven lead changes and four ties later, USC took a 74-72 lead on a short jumper Derryck Duncan.

"Coach tells us to keep fighting," Wills said. "We fought back."

Wills played a career-long 36 minutes, scoring in double figures for the fifth time in seven games. He pulled down six rebounds and dished out four assists to go along with his 14-point night.

Kevin Porter Jr. scored 10 points in the early going and the Trojans took a 40-35 lead into halftime.

Up next, Stanford hosts UCLA on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.