USC-Long Beach State Preview

Dec. 28, 2000

LOS ANGELES - Southern California tries to avoid its first losing streak of the season asit plays host to Long Beach State on Saturday.

The No. 16 Trojans (9-2) fell behind 15-0 and went on to lose 63-61 atNorthwestern on Wednesday. David Bluthenthal scored 17 points for SouthernCalifornia after being benched for the start of the game. Leading-scorer Brian Scalabrine played just 16minutes due to the flu and finished with only six points.

'We didn't come out to play tonight,' USC coach Henry Bibby said, refusingto use Scalabrine's illness as an excuse. 'We played a very patient teamtonight. You don't get back on an opposing team when they're up 15-0 and ontheir home court.'

However, there is some good news for the Trojans, who are expected to haveguard Jeff Trepagnier, who averaged 15.9 points and 6.6 rebounds last season, back in the lineup for the first time this season.

Scalabrine still leads the team in scoring at 17.1 points, closely followedby Sam Clancy (16.8), Bluthenthal (15.6) and Brandon Granville (13.8).

Long Beach State has won four straight games, including an 83-76 victoryover Texas A&M on Dec. 22. Ramel Lloyd scored 23 points while former UCLAtransfer Travis Reed added 20 and 10 rebounds for the 49ers, who erased a13-point lead in the final 11:05.

Brad Smith hit three key 3-pointers during the rally as the 49ers shot just5-for-20 on 3s. The 49ers are 4-1 when scoring at least 80 points.

Lloyd is averaging a team-best 20.6 points while Reed is adding 12.2 and 7.4rebounds.

The 49ers are 0-1 against ranked opponents this season, losing 86-63 tothen-No. 4 Stanford on Dec. 2.

Long Beach State leads the all-time series 5-4 and posted a 76-66 victory athome last season. USC, though, won 74-48 at home the previous season.

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