USC-Northwestern Preview

Dec. 26, 2000

EVANSTON, Ill. - Southern California will try to quicken the pace Wednesday when it plays aNorthwestern squad that is beginning to understand the patience and disciplinepreached by first-year coach Bill Carmody.

The 16th-ranked Trojans (9-1) are averaging 83 points per game and shooting47.2 percent from the field. USC has scored at least 70 points in all10 games and has topped 80 on five occasions, winning four.

Henry Bibby's team placed third in the Yahoo! Invitational at Laie, Hawaii,prior to Christmas, rallying from an 18-point halftime deficit to record a70-67 victory over Brigham Young on Saturday. Brian Scalabrine and Sam Clancyscored 26 points each for USC, which rallied despite having Bibby ejected with2:53 to play in the first half.

The Trojans showed the type of mettle they will need for their conferenceclashes in the Pac-10, bouncing back from a tough one-point overtime loss toMississippi in the semifinals.

'We didn't come ready to play in the first half,' Bibby said. 'We had aheart-to-heart talk at halftime. We challenged the guys to play to theirpotential. We wanted to see what they were made of.'

Scalabrine, who is averaging a team-high 18.2 points, currently is 15th onthe school's all-time scoring list with 1,124 points, three behind Don Carfino.

While USC has enjoyed success playing an up-tempo style, Northwestern (6-5)is beginning to taste success with the disciplined passing-oriented offenseCarmody brought over from Princeton, where he compiled a 92-25 mark in fourseasons.

The Wildcats placed fifth in the San Juan Shootout, gaining wins over Ionaand Evansville in the consolation bracket after losing to Kent in the firstround. Winston Blake scored 16 points and Collier Drayton added 13 forNorthwestern, which made a season-high 14 3-pointers and stormed to a 39-18halftime lead.

Northwestern has topped 80 points on two occasions this season but its magicnumber appears to be 60. The Wildcats are 5-0 when scoring 60 or more points,but 1-5 when held under that mark.

Blake leads the Wildcats in scoring at 11.9 points per game, followed by BenJohnson's 11 points per contest.

The Trojans recorded an 85-44 rout of the Wildcats at Los Angeles lastseason as David Bluthenthal, Brandon Granville and Jeff Trepagnier all scored20 points.

USC leads the all-time series 6-2 and has won the last three games betweenthe schools.

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