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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Steve Alford summed up his team’s performance in one simple word.
Despite the lack of style points, the result was all he cared about.
Tony Snell hit two free throws with 1:27 left to put New Mexico ahead, and the Lobos held on to beat Southern California 44-41 on Saturday.
The Lobos went without a field goal for the final 14:16, but made 11 free throws in that span to fend off the Trojans.
“It was ugly,” Alford said. “We got careless. We got bored, really. But we found a way to win. And that’s all that really matters.”
After Snell put New Mexico ahead, A.J. Hardemann made a pair of free throws with 17 seconds remaining. USC’s attempt to tie came up short when Mo Jones’ 3-point try at the buzzer missed everything.
Drew Gordon had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Lobos (7-2), who shot just 33 percent and turned the ball over a season-high 24 times but managed to win their fifth in a row.
“We came out and wanted to play up-tempo,” Alford said. “But they kind of slowed it down, so we adjusted and slowed it down too. But I was proud of the way we played.”
Jones scored 19 points but was the only player in double figures for USC (4-6).
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