USC To Host Oregon State On Senior Day
Feb. 26, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC Trojans (16-11, 8-7) will host the Oregon State Beavers (12-15, 6-9) on Feb. 27 in the Galen Center at 4:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Prime Ticket. It will also air live on USC radio flagship station ESPN Radio 710 AM. USC will honor seniors Kasey Cunningham, Mike Gerrity, Marcus Johnson & Dwight Lewis before the game.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS -- Oregon State is coming off a 65-56 loss at UCLA on Feb. 25. The Beavers defeated USC 51-45 on Jan. 28 in Corvallis, Ore., but USC leads the all-time series 66-56. Oregon State is led in scoring by junior Calvin Haynes (13.3 ppg) and senior Seth Tarver (10.5 ppg). USC has won its last six home games against Oregon State and 10 of 13 overall in the series.
TROJANS LOOK FOR SENIOR DAY MAGIC -- USC defeated Oregon State 68-52 on Senior Day last season and have won the last 13 regular season home finales, last falling to Washington (71-68) on March 9, 1996.
USC IN NEED OF A PERFECT STORM -- USC can still claim a share of the Pac-10 Conference regular season title, but it will take a perfect storm of events. USC needs to win its final three games, have ASU defeat California on Feb. 27, then have Stanford defeat California on March 6 and have UCLA defeat ASU on March 6.
TROJANS CAN'T DUCK SCORELESS STREAKS -- Oregon scored the last 12 points over the final 6:19 to overcome the Trojans 54-44 at the Galen Center on Feb. 25. USC led 32-23 at the half and 36-25 with 18:46 to go in the second half when they were held scoreless for 9:45 while the Ducks scored 14-straight points to take a 39-36 lead. USC bounced back to take a 44-42 lead at the 6:19 mark before its final drought. The Trojans were 6-for-25 (24 percent) in the second half, 0-for-13 from three-point range.
SUN DEVILS ON DECK -- The Arizona State Sun Devils (20-8, 10-5) will play at California on Feb. 27 before hosting USC in Tempe on March 4 at 5:30 p.m. (PT). ASU has won six of its last seven games and with a win at Cal would take a half-game lead in the Pac-10 race. USC defeated ASU 47-37 on Jan. 2 at the Galen Center. USC leads the all-time series 49-32 and has won 14 of the last 20 played between the two schools. Ty Abbott (12.7 ppg) and Rihards Kuksiks (11.7 ppg) lead the Sun Devils in scoring.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS -- USC enters the game allowing 56.3 points per game, third-best in the country and the Trojans' lowest per game average since allowing 51.3 in the 1951 season. USC held 9 consecutive teams to 56 points or less from Dec. 8-Jan. 6 (longest streak since 12 in the 1947-48 season). USC has held 16 opponents to 56 points or less this season and only twice has allowed more than 67 points (69 at Texas & 79 at Georgia Tech). The last time USC had just two games of allowing more than 67 points in a game was the 1949 season.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS -- Nikola Vucevic has led USC in rebounding for 10 consecutive games (11.0 per game) and has grabbed seven or more boards in all but two games this season. Vucevic's 267 rebounds this season rank third all-time by a Trojan sophomore and he is 18 rebounds away from passing Jaha Wilson (294 in 1995) and moving into second place.
TAKING NOTE... -- USC is 12-1 when taking more FTs than its opponents...In Pac-10 games, USC is the only team with all losses by 10 points or less...USC has led or been tied in the 2nd half in all 15 Pac-10 games...in USC's seven Pac-10 losses, it has committed 139 fouls, while the opponent only 80...USC is 10-1 in games it scores 60 or more points...USC is 7-1 vs. the top six teams in the Pac-10 and 1-6 against the current bottom four in the standings.
VUCEVIC'S SOPHOMORE SURGE -- Sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic is second in the Pac-10 this season with 10 double-doubles, his last being a 13-point, 10 rebound effort at Washington on Feb. 18. He collected his 9th with 18-points and 14-rebound vs. Stanford on Feb. 6 and has five double-doubles in his last seven games. 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 11.4 points and 9.9 rebounds, after averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds as a freshman last season. His 9.9 rebounds per game leads all Pac-10 players and ranks 25th nationally.
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 28-14 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 39 steals and is third in rebounds with 113 and blocks with 12. He has scored in double figures 13 times this season. Tied a career high with 5 steals vs. UCLA on Feb. 14.
THE BIG FELLA -- Alex Stepheson had 10 points and 13 rebounds vs. Oregon on Feb. 25 for his fifth double-double. It was only the second time in the last eight games he has scored in double figures and his first double-double since Dec. 19 vs. Tennessee. On Feb. 4 vs. California, he had 10 points, 8 rebounds and blocked 3 shots in 20 minutes of action. In 25 games this season, he has averaged 8.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He has six or more rebounds in 17 of 25 games and leads Pac-10 players with an average of 3.4 offensive rebounds per game. 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 after more than a year away from competition on Nov. 27 vs. Coppin State, then registered his first career double-double on Nov. 29 vs. Nebraska with 13 points and a then career-best 12 rebounds.
GERRITY PROVIDES CLARITY -- Senior Mike Gerrity has played 19 games and led USC to an 12-7 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 8.6 points, 3.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds in his first 19 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 71 assists and 39 turnovers, the only Trojan with a positive assist to turnover ratio. He has had eight games of one turnover or less and has 52 assists and 24 turnovers in the last 14 games. His 1.9-1 turnover-assist ratio in Pac-10 games is tied for the best in the conference. He hit a career-high 3 three-pointers, two with under 2 minutes left to help USC defeat Cal on Feb. 4.
WASHINGTON PROVIDES INSTANT ENERGY -- 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 17 games back, Washington has averaged 6.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and has 10 blocks and 19 steals. His high game this season is 11 points at Oregon State on Jan. 28. He had eight rebounds and eight points vs. Washington on Feb. 18 and then eight points and four rebounds at Washington State on Feb. 20. Washington has been key for USC coming off the bench. In his last eight games, he has averaged 6.9 points (55 total) and 4.5 rebounds (36 total), while chipping in with eight steals, four assists and three blocks. He has made 23 of his last 40 shots (57.5 percent).
BIG TIME LEWIS RISING UP SCORING LISTS -- Senior Dwight Lewis has scored 1,419 career points, 13th all-time at USC and four points behind John Block (1964-66) who is 12th with 1,423. Lewis ranks 10th on USC's all-time three-point baskets list with 144 makes. Stais Boseman (1994-97) ranks 9th on USC's all-time three-point basket list with 145. 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 seven 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 Cal on Jan. 9, 24 at UCLA on Jan. 16, 23 vs. UCLA on Feb. 14 and 22 at Washington on Feb. 18) and has had 16 career 20-point games. Lewis has averaged 15.6 points in his last 13 games (203 points).
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC has held 69 teams to 60 points or less in the last five seasons (162 games), including 16 this season. The Trojans held 17 of their opponents last season to 39.2 percent shooting or less, and have held 85 teams under 40 percent shooting in the last 162 games. USC was outshot from the field just nine times last season and 10 times so far this season (Nebraska, Texas, GT, WMU, Stanford, Cal, WSU-2, Oregon-2). USC has had a better shooting percentage that its opponent in 102 of the last 132 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 37.9 shooting percentage, best in the Pac-10 and 11th in the country.