Trojans Win Exhibition Finale, 87-83
Nov. 15, 2002
Five Trojans scored in double figures, led by junior guard Desmon Farmer's 17 points and sophomore center Rory O'Neil's 16 points, as USC completed its exhibition schedule with an 87-83 win over L.A. City All-Stars in front of 623 on Friday (Nov. 15) at the Sports Arena.
Junior guard Roydell Smiley had 13 points, sophomore guard Derrick Craven scored 11 points - on 11-of-16 free throw shooting - and sophomore forward Nick Curtis scored 11 points. O'Neil had a game-high nine rebounds.
Derrick Anderson and Rickey Maiden scored 14 points apiece to lead L.A. City.
Though USC struggled from the field, shooting only 36.8%, the Trojans forced 26 turnovers and had 17 steals, including seven from Derrick Craven.
The Trojans trailed by a small margin for most of the first half and were still down 38-33 with 1:48 to go before the break. But two free throws from Robert Hutchinson and back-to-back baskets by Smiley - the second a three-pointer - put USC ahead 40-38 and a Farmer three-pointer right before the buzzer gave USC a 43-40 halftime lead.
USC opened a 49-42 lead early in the second half, but the game remained close until the final buzzer and featured nine ties. Two O'Neil free throws with 58 seconds remaining put USC ahead for good at 84-82 and two Craven free throws gave Troy an 86-83 lead with 32 ticks to go. L.A. City turned the ball over on its next possession and Smiley made 1-of-2 foul shots with eight seconds left to secure the win.
'We played with no energy,' Coach Henry Bibby said. 'We played with no urgency. But the exhibition season is about getting the kinks out. We're still seeing what the new guys can do and working with different lineups. Desmon played well at times. Derrick Craven played well.
'We're a good team and we're getting better. I've seen improvement. We have to go to war (next) Friday and hopefully we'll be ready to play.'
USC sophomore junior college transfer Brandon Brooks was suspended for the game for missing class, Bibby said.
USC opens the regular season on Nov. 22 when it hosts UC Riverside at the Sports Arena at 7:30 p.m.