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No. 19 USC Men's Basketball Looks To Bounce Back Against Oregon At Galen Monday

Feb 21, 2021

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The USC Trojans (18-4, 12-3) will host the Oregon Ducks (14-4, 9-3) at the Galen Center on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.  The game will air on FS1 with Noah Eagle and Steve Lavin calling the action.  USC had a seven-game winning streak snapped in its last outing and has won 13 of its last 15 games.  USC's 12-3 start to Pac-12 play is its best since beginning the 1992 season with a 13-2 record in conference play. USC is 18-4 through its first 22 games for the first time since also beginning 18-4 during the 2017 season.  USC is tied for the fewest losses in Pac-12 play with UCLA and Oregon, with USC and UCLA owning 12-3 records and Oregon a 9-3 mark.

FACING OREGON --  The Oregon Ducks (14-4, 9-3) are coming off a 67-64 home win over Utah on Feb. 20 to push its winning streak to five games. This will be the only regular season meeting between the two schools. USC and Oregon were originally scheduled for a game at the Galen Center on Jan. 30,  but  it was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Ducks' program. Eugene Omoruyi (17.2 ppg) and Chris Duarte (17.1 ppg) lead five Ducks who are scoring in double figures. USC lost 77-70 in double overtime at Oregon last season, but has won four of its last six meetings with the Ducks.  Prior to that, USC had lost 14 consecutive games to Oregon.  USC leads the all-time series with Oregon 64*-58.
  (*2 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 66-58).

TROJANS' WINNING STREAK SNAPPED BY ARIZONA  -- James Akinjo scored 20 points and Arizona took control of the boards to defeat No. 17 USC 81-72 at the Galen Center on Feb. 20, ending the Pac-12-leading Trojans' seven-game winning streak. Jordan Brown (19 points and 13 rebound) and Azuolas Tubelis (16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds) had double-doubles  for the Wildcats. Arizona controlled the boards, 43-36, and USC fell to 0-3 on the season when being outrebounded. Evan Mobley scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half for the Trojans, and Tahj Eaddy added 17 points before fouling out. The Trojans played from behind most of the game, trailing by eight in the first half. Mobley scored 10 straight points for USC to open the second half, pulling USC into a tie at 41-all. Eaddy tied it again at 44-all on a 3-pointer.  Arizona responded  by going on a 13-5 run, fueled by hitting three consecutive 3-pointers to take a 57-49. USC got no closer than five points the rest of the way. 

ENFIELD ON NAISMITH COACH OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST -- USC head coach Andy Enfield was named to the late season watch list for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award on Feb. 19.  This season he has guided USC to an 18-4 record and to a tie atop of the Pac-12.  USC's win over ASU on Feb. 17 was the 150th victory for Andy Enfield as USC's head coach (150-106) in eight seasons.  Enfield's career record as a head coach is 191-134.  Enfield has guided the Trojans to their best two-year, three-year, four-year and five-year records.  

MOBLEY STANDS ALONE IN POINTS-REBOUNDS-ASSISTS -- USC freshman Isaiah Mobley, who is averaging 17.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 3.2 blocks, is the only Power 5 conference player to be averaging at least 17.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0  assists.  Only three players in Division I can match that (Pippen of Kent State, Aldama of Loyola-MD and Brown of The Citadel).  If you add in having at least 2.0 blocks or more, Mobley stands alone.

STINGY ON DEFENSE -- When USC allowed ASU to score 71 points on Feb. 17, it snapped a streak of seven consecutive games holding its opponent to under 70 points. On Feb. 20, Arizona scoed 81 points, the most by a Trojan opponent since allowing Cal Baptist to score 87 in the season opener on Nov. 25. For the season, USC has held 16 of 22 opponents under 70 points. USC is allowing its opponents 64.4 points per game which ranks second among Pac-12 schools.

TROJANS "POLL VAULTING" -- USC is ranked No. 17 in this week's AP poll and No. 18 in the Coaches Polls following a road sweep in Washington.  Last week USC was ranked No. 20 in both polls, the first time it had been ranked in either poll since Week 5 of the 2017-18 season when it was ranked No. 25 in both.  

COLORADO ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at Colorado (17-7, 11-6) in Boulder, Colo. on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. PT.  The Buffaloes are 8-1 at home this season and are led in scoring by senior guard McKinley Wright at 14.5 points per game.  Colorado defeated USC 72-62 on Dec. 31 at the Galen Center to extend its winning streak over the Trojans to five games.  USC trails 7-14 in the all-time series with Colorado, including owning a 2-7 record at Colorado.

SCORING MARGIN BEST SINCE 1971 SEASON -- USC has a +11.5 scoring margin which leads 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 average of 14.0 points per game.

DOING IT WITH DEFENSE -- USC has held its opponents to 38.5 percent shooting this season, best in the Pac-12 and fifth-best in the country. Stanford's 51.9 percent shooting against USC on Feb. 2 was the only time this season a Trojan opponent shot over 50 percent.  

WINNING WAYS -  USC's .818 winning percentage is tied for 15th-best in the country.

THE SULTANS OF SWAT -- USC has had 125 blocks in its first 22 games for an average of 5.7 blocks per game, sixth in the country.  Freshman Evan Mobley is averaging 3.18 blocks per game, 4th in the country and first among freshmen. Mobley already ranks second on USC's all-time freshman blocks list (70) and 7th on the school's all-time top 10 list for a single season.