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Undefeated No. 10 USC Men's Basketball Closes Homestand Hosting UC Irvine Wednesday

Dec 14, 2021

The No. 10/No. 9 USC Trojans (10-0, 2-0) will host the UC Irvine Anteaters (5-2, 0-0) at the Galen Center on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.  The game will air on the Pac-12 Network with Roxy Berstein and Don MacLean calling the action.  USC is 10-0 to start the season for the first time since 2017, when USC opened the campaign 14-0. The Trojans are one of seven undefeated teams still remaining in college basketball. USC is No. 14 in the NET this week, the chief rankings used for the NCAA Tournament selection and seeding. 

FAST STARTS -- USC's 10-0 start to the 2021-22 season is the seventh-best start by the Trojans in school history.  USC's best start of a season was 17-0 in 1910, followed by 16-0 in 1971 and the 14-0 start to the 2017 season.  

STREAKS -  USC's 10-game winning streak is tied for the 10th longest in school history.  If USC were to win and go to 11-0, it would be tied for the 9th-longest winning streak in school history.

TOP 10 TROJANS -- USC is ranked No. 10 in the AP Poll this week, its highest regular season ranking since also ranking No. 10 in the first three polls of the 2017-18 season.  USC ended the 2020-21 season ranked No. 9 in the postseason AP Poll.  The last time USC was ranked higher in the AP regular season poll was week 18 of the 1991-92 season (8th).

FACING UC IRVINE --  UC Irvine (5-2) is coming off a 63-55 loss at Fresno State on Dec. 11, which snapped a five-game winning streak. UCI lost its opener at New Mexico State (62-51), before posting wins vs. Boise State (58-50), vs. La Verne (100-41), vs. Pepperdine (82-48), at Santa Clara (69-64) and vs. Bethesda (86-54).  Forward Collin Welp leads UCI in scoring at 12.6 points per game and averages 6.9 rebounds per contest. USC is 7-2 all-time against UCI, winning the last meeting 91-56 on Dec. 8, 2020. UCI ranks second in the country in field goal defense at 34.5 percent.

USC TAKES CARE OF LBSU IN SECOND HALF -- Isaiah Mobley scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half, Drew Peterson added 15 and then-No. 16 USC defeated Long Beach State 73-62 in front of over 5,500 fans at Galen Center on Dec. 12.  Mobley also had 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double in five games. Peterson shot 6-for-8 from the field, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range.  Max Agbonkpolo finished with 11 points. USC limited LBSU to 38.3 percent shooting and have held all 10 of their opponents to under 40 percent shooting this season. LBSU made 51.7 percent of its first-half shots, but were held to 25.8 percent shooting after the break. USC was outrebounded 35-34 and allowed LBSU to get 15 offensive boards.  USC made 7 of 10 free throws (70 percent) for its best shooting night at the stripe since the season opener.  

ON DECK: GEORGIA TECH AT COLANGELO CLASSIC --  USC's next game will be vs. Georgia Tech (5-4, 0-1) at the Jerry Colangelo Classic to be held at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Ariz. on Dec. 18 at 1 p.m. PT.  Georgia Tech is coming off a 69-53 loss vs. LSU and has lost is its last three games.  Guard Michael Devoe is one of the top scorers in the country with a 22.1 points per game average.  Starting guards Jordan Usher (13.7 ppg and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game) and Kyle Sturdivant (6.7 ppg) began their careers as Trojans. USC is 1-2 vs. Georgia Tech all-time, losing the last meeting 79-53 on Dec. 5, 2009.

BIG MEN, BIG NUMBERS -- Big men Isaiah Mobley and Chevez Goodwin have been at the forefront of USC's success so far this season and currently are the top two scorers and rebounders on the team. Mobley is averaging just short of a double-double with a team-leading 14.7 points per game and a team-high 9.8 rebounds per contest. He currently ranks 19th in the country in rebounds per game. Goodwin is the Trojans' second-leading scorer at 12.2 points per game and is second on the team with 7.1 rebounds per game. Goodwin's 65.1 shooting percentage is best among USC's players with at least five shots attempted and ranks eighth in the country.   Mobley ranks first and Goodwin sixth among Pac-12 players in rebounds per game.

HAVING A DEFENSIVE EDGE -- USC held LBSU to 38.3 percent shooting on Dec. 12 and has held each of its opponent this season to under 40 percent shooting.  For the season, USC has held the opposition to 35.2 percent shooting which ranks fourth in the country. Despite allowing WSU to make an opponent-high 40.0 percent from three-point range on Dec. 4, USC has held the opposition to a 27.8 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, 31st in the country.

TURNS OUT...I LIKE IT OUT HERE... -- Isaiah Mobley has made a team-leading 16 three-pointers this season and has a 41.0 shooting percentage from beyond the arc (16-for-39).  For his career, he has made 38.7 percent from three-point range (41-for-106).   Mobley found his long-distance stroke late last season, making 10 of 15 three-points in USC's final six games. In his first 57 college games, Mobley made a total of 15 three-pointers (15-for-52, 28.8 percent), while he has made 26 in his last 16 games (26-for-54, 48.1 percent).

PETERSON FILLING UP THE STAT SHEET -- Guard Drew Peterson leads USC with 35 assists, it tied for the team lead with 19 free throws made, is second in blocks with 10 and minutes played (298), and is third in rebounds per game (5.3).  In the last five games, Peterson has averaged 14.0 points (70 points), 5.8 rebounds (29 total) and 2.6 assists (13 total).

AGBONKPOLO ENJOYING THE HOME COOKING -- Wing Max Agbonkpolo has scored in double figures in each of the last four home games.  In the last four home game, Agbonkpolo has scored in double-figures each game and is averaging 14.0 points per game (56 total points).  He had only scored in double figures twice in his first 56 career games (10 points each time).