LOS ANGELES -- It was nearly a perfect homecoming for Stanford senior Andy Brown.

The 6-foot-7 forward, who his played high school ball 30 miles south of Los Angeles, had just tied the game with 26 seconds left in regulation and had the opportunity to put the Cardinal ahead with a free throw.

But Brown missed the foul shot and Stanford lost 71-69 when USC's Jio Fontan knocked down two free throws with six seconds remaining in the Pac-12 opener Thursday night at the Galen Center.

"(USC) kept fighting and they were able to stay in there, and they made the plays at the end," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "It's conference play. We knew it was going to be a great game, and I thought (USC) made some crucial plays and we didn't make the plays we needed to make."

Stanford guard Chasson Randle had an opportunity to send the game into overtime, but his runner proved to be too strong, and forward Dwight Powell's tip-in attempt did not fall as the Cardinal road struggles continue. Stanford (9-5) falls to 9-28 on the road in conference play dating back to the 2008-09 campaign.

"We didn't match (USC's) intensity in the second half," said Brown, who tied a career high with 17 points. "Especially with them being at home, we knew they were going to have momentum, but unfortunately we lost it at the end."

Brown scored 13 of his 17 in the first half, coming off the bench and providing a spark for the Cardinal.


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Leading 11-10 with 13 minutes remaining in the first half, Brown scored seven consecutive points as Stanford grabbed a 21-14 advantage with eight minutes to play until halftime.

USC (6-8) cut the lead to 30-29, but a 12-4 Cardinal run to conclude the half gave the visitors a 42-33 advantage at the break. Stanford maintained an eight-point lead five minutes into the second half, but an 8-0 USC run tied the game at 51 with 11 minutes left to play.

Aaron Fuller's floater in the lane with 8:45 remaining put the Trojans ahead 53-51 for their first lead of the game.

The Cardinal, which failed to score for over a six-minute stretch in the second half, shot just 26 percent from the field in the second half.

"When we look back, I think you'll see we had some layups and some free throws that during that period of time, that if those go down, it gives us a little momentum," Dawkins said. "In game like this, every one of those baskets counts."