USC To Host Rival No. 21 UCLA At Galen Saturday
The USC Trojans (14-3, 8-2) will host the UCLA Bruins (13-3, 9-1) at the Galen Center on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. The game will air on ESPN with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton calling the action. USC has won 9 of its last 10 games. USC's 8-2 start to Pac-12 play is its best since also beginning the 2018 season 8-2 in conference play. The last time USC had a better 10-game start to conference action was the 1992 season when it started 9-1. USC is 14-3 through its first 17 games for the fourth time in the last 19 seasons (15-2 in 2017, 14-3 in 2016 and 14-3 in 2020...all three teams were 15-3 after 18 games).
FACING UCLA-- No. 21 UCLA (13-3, 9-1) is coming off a 57-52 home win against Oregon State on Jan. 30. Six Bruins are averaging at least 9.3 points or more, led by Chris Smith and Jaime Jaquez at 12.6 points per game. Smith tore his left ACL on Dec. 31 and is out for the rest of the season. UCLA has won eight of its last nine games with the lone loss coming in overtime at Stanford. USC won both games against UCLA last season, including the 54-52 season-ending game at the Galen Center on March 6, won on a three-pointer by Jonah Mathews. USC trails in the all-time series with UCLA 111*-143 (1 win later vacated by NCAA penalty, original record 112-143).
USC EARNS COMEBACK WIN STANFORD -- USC outscored Stanford 6-0 over the final 1:18 to eke out a 72-66 comeback win at Maples Pavilion on Feb. 2. Stanford led for all but 5:30 in the game. Tahj Eaddy broke a 66-all tie with a driving layup with 1:18 remaining, then after Evan Mobley blocked an Oscar da Silva layup, Eaddy hit a fadeaway jumper with 29 seconds remaining for a 70-66 lead. Drew Peterson hit a pair of FTs with seven seconds remaining for the 72-66 final. USC trailed 35-32 at the half, by as many as 10 points in the first half and by seven with 10:29 remaining. Evan Mobley led USC with 23 points and 11 rebounds for his 8th double-double of the season. Peterson scored 15 points and Eaddy 14, including teaming up to score 13 of USC's final 17 points. Stanford made 51.9 percent of its shots, the first USC opponent to shoot over 50 percent. The Cardinal were held to 1-for-8 shooting in the final four minutes. USC outscored Stanford 16-2 on second chance points.
WASHINGTON ON DECK-- USC will next be playing at Washington (3-12, 2-8) in Seattle, Wash. on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. The Huskies will play at Oregon State on Feb. 4 and at Oregon on Feb. 6 before hosting USC. Washington has won two of its last three games and is led in scoring by guard Quade Green at 15.7 points per game. USC defeated Washington 95-68 on Jan. 14 at the Galen Center and trails in the all-time series 74*-75 (with 2 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 76-75). USC has lost 6 of its last 7 games at Washington.
JOYFUL JANUARY -- USC went 8-1 in the month of January, its most wins in any month since going 8-1 in January of 2002.
THE MAGIC MARK -- With the 72-66 win at Stanford on Feb. 2, USC is now 81-5 in its last 86 games when holding the opposition to under 70 points scored dating back to Feb. 28, 2015.
SCORING MARGIN BEST SINCE 1971 SEASON-- USC has a +11.7 scoring margin which leads all Pac-12 teams. It is also USC's biggest average scoring margin in a season since the 1970-71 team went 24-2 and defeated opponents by an averaged of 14.0 points per game.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE -- USC has held its opponents to 38.2 percent shooting this season, sixth-best in the country. Stanford's 51.9 percent shooting against USC on Feb. 2 was the first time this season a Trojan opponent shot over 50 percent.
THE SULTANS OF SWAT -- USC has had 97 blocks in its first 17 games for an average of 5.7 blocks per game, sixth in the country. Freshman Evan Mobley is averaging 2.9 blocks per game, 10th in the country and second among freshmen. Mobley already ranks fourth on USC's all-time freshman blocks list (49).
THE GOOD AND THE BAD -- The good news is USC ranks 13th in the country with 399 free throw attempts. The bad news is it has made just 261 of those shots for a 65.4 shooting percentage from the charity stripe, which ranks 301st in the country (out of 340 teams).
THE PAINT PATROL -- USC has outrebounded its opponents 695-555 through the first 17 games and has outscored the opposition 592-402 on points scored in the paint. USC's +8.2 rebound margin ranks 18th in the country.
LIKE NIGHT AND DAY -- In its 14 wins, USC is shooting 48.2 percent from the floor (403-for-836) and in its three losses is shooting 38.5 percent (62-for-161). USC has also outrebounded or had the same amount of boards as the opposition in all 14 of the wins (147 more total rebounds) and was outrebounded in two of its three losses. USC has a total of 29 assists in its three losses.
MOBLEY ON LATE SEASON WOODEN AWARD WATCH LIST -- USC freshman Evan Mobley is one of 20 players selected to the 2021 Wooden Award Late Season Watch List for the top collegiate player. Mobley is one of four freshmen on the list and the only Pac-12 player.
MAKING ADJUSTMENTS -- USC outscored Stanford 40-31 in the second half on Feb/ 2. USC has only been outscored by the opposition in the second half in two games this season (Montana & WSU). USC has outscored the opposition by 116 points in the second half and overtime of its 17 games (6.8 points).
EFFICIENT OFFENSE -- USC is second among Pac-12 with an 76.3 scoring average and leads with a +11.7 scoring margin. USC also leads all Pac-12 teams with a 46.6 shooting percentage this season.