USC senior Lodrick Stewart led the student section at Galen Center in displaying the university’s trademark victory sign as the school’s fight song played. Teammates surrounded Stewart, some going into the aisles, as the capacity crowd paid tribute to one of the Trojans’ best seasons since the Pacific-10 Conference expanded to 10teams in 1979. The players paid tribute back for the electric atmosphere that built all season and reached a crescendo Saturday. Then the players lifted senior walk-on Chris Penrose – who hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds – onto their shoulders and carried him off the court. USC’s 84-66 victory over California in its final home game displayed everything that has changed this year within the program – the attitude, the attendance and the atmosphere. “We said from day one, we’re not going to beg our people to come out,” said coach Tim Floyd after his team played in front of a sellout Galen Center-record crowd of 10,027. “You have to earn those things.” USC has done that with a team that has defied all expectations. The Trojans (21-8, 11-5) are guaranteed at least fourth place in the Pac-10, will take second if they win both games in Washington this week and can wrap up third with a win or Stanford loss in the final two games. This for a team that entered the season picked to finish sixth in the conference and starting freshmen at point guard and power forward. “We’re playing for seeding now,” Stewart said. “There’s not a doubt we’re going to the (NCAA) Tournament. I think we’re going now, and the coaches feel the same way.” USC’s 15-3 record at Galen Center is its best home mark since going 16-3 in 1961. Stewart drained four 3-pointers to give him 220 for his career, breaking the all-time USC mark of 218 held by Brandon Granville (1999-02). His record-breaking shot came at an opportune time, as Cal (14-14, 6-10) had drawn within five points with a little over 13 minutes remaining. “It’s great to get the record on a day like this,” said Stewart, who left the game to large ovation with 55.8 seconds remaining. “It was so sad knowing it’s my last time playing here.” Stewart finished with 13points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Taj Gibson led the Trojans with 18 points. But the shot that drew the biggest crowd outburst of the season came from Penrose, the little-used walk-on who had scored three points entering the game. He came in with 2:23remaining, after the crowd had been chanting his name. Each time he touched the ball, fans yelled for him to shoot. His 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down in the final minute didn’t draw iron. But he got one more chance at his “Rudy” moment and swished a shot from the right corner with 5.3 seconds to go. “I turned around and looked at the student section and couldn’t really hear anything because the place was so loud,” said Penrose, who brought his career total to 16 points. “My heart was going a mile a minute, and I was just so happy and excited. It’s kind of a storybook ending to a little walk-on’s career.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!