USC Heads Noth To Face The Oregon Schools; Beavers First On Thursday
Jan. 25, 2010
CORVALLIS, ORE. -- The USC Trojans (12-7, 4-3) will face the Oregon State Beavers (8-11, 2-5) in Corvallis, Ore. on Jan. 28 at 5:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on FSN Northwest. The game will also be provided on a delayed basis on USCTrojans.com and will air live on USC radio flagship station ESPN Radio 710 AM with Pete Arbogast and Jim Hefner calling the action. USC is 10-3 in its last 13 games. USC won its last road game which was at UCLA on Jan. 16, snapping a nine-game road losing streak dating back to last season. USC last won consecutive road contests when it won four straight in the 2008 season (at: UCLA, OSU, ORE & UW).
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS -- Oregon State is coming off a 65-61 setback at California on Jan. 23. The Beavers have been led in scoring by Calvin Haynes (12.3 ppg) and Seth Tarver (11.2 ppg). Tarver led the Pac-10 in steals last season and is at the top of the charts again this season with 50. USC lost 62-58 in overtime last season at Oregon State which snapped a 21-game conference losing streak for the Beavers. The Trojans then defeated OSU 68-52 at the Galen Center in the last regular season game of the 2008-09 season. USC has won 8 of the last 9 contests against Oregon State and leads in the all-time series, 66-55.
USC BLITZES HUSKIES -- Marcus Johnson scored a career-high 22 points and all five Trojan starters scored in double figures to lead USC to a 87-61 win vs. Washington on Jan. 23 at the Galen Center. USC shot 58.2 percent from the field in scoring a season high 87 points. Dwight Lewis scored 19 points, while Alex Stepheson and Mike Gerrity both added 15. Nikola Vucevic had his sixth double-double of the season as he scored 11 points and had a game-high 13 rebounds. The Trojan starters outscored the Washington starting five, 82-30.
DUCKS ON DECK -- Oregon (10-9, 2-5) will play UCLA on Jan. 28 before hosting the Trojans on Jan. 30 at 3:00 p.m. in Eugene, Ore. It will be USC's last game at McArthur Court as the Ducks will open Matthew Knight Arena next season. USC has won its last four games in Eugene and are 6-1 in its last seven games against the Ducks. Oregon is led in scoring by Tajuan Porter (12.5 ppg), Malcolm Armstead (11.4 ppg) and Michael Dunigan (11.1 ppg). Oregon has lost five straight after winning six consecutive games. USC leads the all-time series vs. Oregon, 62-42.
BRIEFLY... -- Marcus Johnson has averaged 12.6 points in his last eight games, while Dwight Lewis has average 19.6 in his last five games...Mike Gerrity leads Pac-10 players in conference games with a 2.5 assist to turnover ratio...USC is 7-1 when scoring at least 60 points, 7-1 when committing less turnovers and 10-0 when holding the opposition under 40 percent shooting.
LEWIS IS A GAMER -- Dwight Lewis is about to become USC's all-time leader in games played as he enters tonight with 122 career games played, two behind Brandon Granville (124 G from 1999-02) and one behind Lodrick Stewart (123 games from 2004-07). Lewis already ranks 15th on the school's scoring charts and should crack the top 10 in points scored. Also, his next three-point basket will place him USC's top 10 in three-pointers made.
USC THIRD IN SCORING DEFENSE -- USC enters the game having allowed 1058 points in its first 19 games (55.7 ppg), its fewest through 19 games since allowing 953 points in the first 19 games of the 1950-51 season. USC is fourth in the country in points allowed per game at 55.7. USC held nine consecutive opponents to 56 points or less from Dec. 8-Jan. 6 (longest streak since 12 in the 1947-48 season). USC has held 12 opponents to 56 points or less this season and only twice has allowed more than 67 points (69 at Texas and 79 at Georgia Tech).
VUCEVIC'S SOPHOMORE SURGE -- Sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic has six double-doubles this season, tied for second in the Pac-10 entering this week's action. His last one was an 11-point, 13-rebound effort vs. Washington on Jan. 23. He matched a career high with 19 points at UCLA on Jan. 16 (9-for-12), scoring 17 points in the second half. Vucevic had 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Tennessee on Dec. 19 for his fifth double-double. He had 14 points and posted a career-high 15 rebounds on Dec. 8 vs. Sac. State, his first 19-point game and 11 rebounds vs. LMU on Nov. 21, 15 points and 12 rebounds vs. Coppin St. on Nov. 27 and 18 points and 14 rebounds at Texas on Dec. 3. He is averaging 11.7 points and 9.5 rebounds, after averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds as a freshman last season. His 9.5 rebounds per game leads all Pac-10 players.
JOHNSON'S SECOND SENIOR SEASON -- USC senior G/F Marcus Johnson, who played the second semester last season after transferring to USC from UConn, was granted another year of eligibilty by the NCAA following the season, but penalized two games for playing in an exhibition game in the 2007-08 season. USC is 24-10 in games he has been available to play in the two seasons. In his first game this season on Nov. 27 vs. CSU, Johnson had 11 points, three rebounds and a steal. Johnson scored his then USC high of 19 points and had a career-high nine rebounds vs. UNLV on Dec. 25. He set a new career high with 22 points on 9 of 11 shooting vs. Washington on Jan. 23. Johnson leads USC with 25 steals and is third in rebounds with 84 and blocks with 11. He has scored in double figures 11 times and in six of the last eight games (12.6 ppg/101 total points).
GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT -- Alex Stepheson showed signs he is shaking off the rust of more than a year away from game action, as he scored a career-high 22 points at Georgia Tech on Dec. 5 and then had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks vs. Sacramento State on Dec. 8 for his second career double-double. Stepheson then had his third career double-double vs. Idaho State on Dec. 11 with 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. In the game vs. Tennessee on Dec. 19, Stepheson had 19 points and a new career high with 15 rebounds to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for the week of Dec. 14-20. He played in his first game as a Trojan on Nov. 27 vs. Coppin State and registered his first career double-double on Nov. 29 vs. Nebraska with 13 points and a then career-best 12 rebounds. In 17 games, he has averaged 10.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He has seven or more rebounds in 12 of 17 games.
GERRITY PROVIDES CLARITY -- Senior Mike Gerrity has played 11 games and led USC to an 8-3 record. In his first game after sitting out the first semester due to tranfer rules, he led USC to a 77-55 upset of then No. 9 Tennessee on Dec. 19 and then to the championship of the Diamond Head Classic while earning Tournament MVP honors. Gerrity scored 15 of his team-high 17 points after halftime to help USC to a 55-51 comeback victory over Western Michigan on Dec. 22. He followed that up with a team-high 17 points including hitting a key three-pointer late in the game in the semifinals win vs. Saint Mary's on Dec. 23. In the finals vs. UNLV on Dec. 25, he had 13 points and three assists without a turnover against UNLV's tough press. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 21-27. Gerrity has averaged 9.7 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds in his first 11 games. His 10 assists vs. Tennessee were the most by a Trojan since Daniel Hackett had 13 on Dec. 4, 2008 at Oklahoma. He has 42 assists and 20 turnovers, the only Trojan with a positive assist to turnover ratio. He has had seven games of one turnover or less and has 23 assists and five turnovers in the last six games.
WASHINGTON WORTH THE WAIT -- Sophomore forward Leonard Washington played in his first game of the season on Dec. 23 after missing the first semester with academic issues and had an immediate impact. He scored 10 points, had six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and an assist vs. Saint Mary's on Dec. 23. He then scored nine points and had four rebounds and a block vs. UNLV on Dec. 25. In his first nine games back, Washington has averaged 5.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and has seven blocks and 11 steals. Washington was fifth in scoring for USC as a freshman with a 6.1 average in 30 games, 13 starts. He scored in double figures six times last season with a high of 17 vs. North Dakota State on Dec. 20, 2008.
BIG TIME LEWIS RISING UP SCORING LISTS -- Senior Dwight Lewis has scored 1,314 career points, 15th all-time at USC and four points behind Gus Williams (1973-75) who is 14th with 1,318. Lewis entered the season fifth among returning Pac-10 players in career points. He also ranks 11th on USC's all-time three-point baskets list with 132, one behind Anthony Pendleton(1988-89) who has 133 to rank 10th on USC's all-time list. Lewis led USC with a 14.4 scoring average in 2008-09, as well in three-point baskets (55) and free throw shooting (74.8 percent). He reached double figures in scoring in 27 of his 33 games last season, scoring a career-high 26 twice (vs. San Francisco on Dec. 1 and at Oregon on Jan. 2). He has five 20-point games this season (22 vs. UCR on Nov. 17, 21 vs. Tennesse on Dec. 19, 22 at Stanford on Jan. 6, 20 at California on Jan. 9 and 24 at UCLA on Jan. 16) and has had 14 career 20-point games. Lewis has averaged 19.6 points in his last five games (98 points) and made 37 of 72 shots (51.4 percent).
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC has held 65 teams to 60 points or less in the last five seasons (154 games), including 12 this season. The Trojans held 17 of their opponents last season to 39.2 percent shooting or less, and have held 79 teams under 40 percent shooting in the last 154 games. USC was outshot from the field just nine times last season and seven times so far this season (Nebraska, Texas, GT, WMU, Stanford, Cal & WSU). USC has had a better shooting percentage that its opponent in 97 of the last 124 games. USC held Sac. State to 23.0 percent shooting on Dec. 8, the lowest percentage by a Trojan opponent since Loyola Marymount shot 22.4 percent from the field on Dec. 9, 1998. USC has held it opponents this season to a 37.3 shooting percentage, best in the Pac-10 and eighth in the country entering this week.