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No. 15 USC Men's Basketball Crushes Arizona State With Wild First-Half Run, 78-56

Jan 24, 2022

LOS ANGELES — Drew Peterson finished 16 points and Max Agbonkpolo, Chevez Goodwin and Isaiah Mobley each scored 12 as No. 15 USC men's basketball used a wild first-half rally to beat Arizona State, 78-56, at home on Monday night.

USC (17-2, 7-2 Pac-12) was also boosted by freshmen Reese Dixon-Waters (eight points) and Kobe Johnson (five assists), who both logged 19 minutes in the game.

"It was a good team win," said USC coach Andy Enfield. "We struggled on offense at the start, but after that we started sharing the ball. We played good team basketball on both ends the rest of the game. The bench really helped us. It was a big factor in uplifting our energy at the end of the first half and into the second half."

The Trojans welcomed a phased number of fans back to the Galen Center for the first time since Dec. 15 after closing attendance in alignment with the university's remote start. The game between USC and Arizona State was rescheduled from Dec. 30 due to COVID-19 protocols within the Trojan program.

USC fell in an early 12-2 hole while committing six turnovers in the game's first six minutes, and the Trojans trailed by 12 points at the 6:19 mark.

USC suddenly got back into the game after two 3-pointers each from Mobley and Dixon-Waters helped put the Trojans on a 12-0 run to tie the game. The stretch continued with Peterson making an acrobatic layup and Johnson hitting a 3-pointer seconds before the halftime buzzer, completing a 21-3 run.

The Trojans held control for the second half and the Sun Devils (6-11, 2-5 Pac-12) never rallied. Goodwin scored seven points in the first five minutes of the second period, followed by a 20-4 stretch highlighted by dunks from Mobley, Peterson, Goodwin and Isaiah White that gave USC its largest lead at 24 with 7:41 remaining.

The Trojans dominated the boards and outrebounded Arizona State 49-24, with the Sun Devils grabbing just 10 in the second half. USC also held Arizona State to just 34.4% from the field. The USC bench also contributed 36 points and the Trojans had 17 of 27 made field goals assisted.

"Arizona State is a very dangerous team because they shoot a lot of threes," Enfield said. "We did a nice job taking care of the basketball and increasing our defensive intensity after a tough start."

All 15 available players for the Trojans — including walk-ons Zach Brooker, Reggie Parris and Amar Ross — appeared in the game. Joshua Morgan did not play due to knee tendinitis and is considered day-to-day. Ross made a 3-pointer in the final minute that energized the crowd.

Marreon Jackson had a season high 21 points for Arizona State, which played without head coach Bobby Hurley and guard Jay Heath due to suspensions.

USC continues its three-game homestand hosting Stanford on Thursday and California on Saturday.