No. 21 USC Men's Basketball Hosts Crosstown Rival No. 12 UCLA On Saturday
The No. 21 USC Trojans (20-4, 9-4) will host the No. 12 UCLA Bruins (17-4, 9-3) at the Galen Center on Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m. The game will air on ESPN with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton calling the action. USC has won 20 games for the third consecutive season, equaling the school record for most consecutive 20 win seasons set from 2016-18. USC and UCLA are facing each other when ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since No. 2 UCLA defeated No. 19 USC 70-65 at Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 7, 2007. The previous time the two teams squared off when ranked in the Top 25 was during the 2002 season. USC's 20-4 start is its best since also starting 20-4 during the 2017 season.
FACING UCLA -- UCLA (17-4, 9-3) is coming off a 79-70 win at Stanford on Feb. 8, following consecutive losses at Arizona on Feb. 3 (76-66) and at Arizona State on Feb. 5 (87-84 in 3 OT). UCLA is led in scoring by Johnny Juzang who averages 18.1 points per game. USC has won the last four meetings between the two schools, but trails 113-143 in the all-time series (1 win in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 114-143).
IT STARTS WITH DEFENSE -- USC held ASU to 32.8 percent shooting on Feb. 3 and has held 16 of its 24 opponents to under 40 percent shooting this season. USC is holding the opposition to a 38.1 shooting percentage, 11th in the country. USC held its first 12 opponents under 40 percent shooting in each game and to a combined 35.2 shooting percentage, which was second in the country. The Trojans were the first team in the last 15 seasons to hold its first 12 opponents to under 40 percent shooting in each game.
HORNERY CROSSES PACIFIC -- Harrison Hornery came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers to help ignite USC's 13-point second half comeback in a 74-68 win at the Galen Center on Feb. 8. USC made 17 of its final 27 shots (63 percent). After falling behind 39-26 three minutes into the second half, USC used a full-court press and some hot shooting to mount the comeback. Hornery's third 3-pointer with 8:01 remaining gave USC a 53-51 lead, its first lead since three minutes into the game (4-3). Two and a half minutes later, Drew Peterson's floating jumper in the paint gave USC the lead for good at 57-56. Peterson scored 8 of his 12 points after the break and Boogie Ellis scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in the second half. Chevez Goodwin also reached double figures in points with 12. Hornery, seeing added minutes as Isaiah Mobley missed the game with a non-displaced nasal fracture, had career-bests with 9 points and 6 rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench. Hornery had scored five points and had one rebound in 17 minutes of action in USC's first 23 games. Fellow freshman Reese Dixon-Waters matched a career best with nine points, going 6-for-6 from the FT line.
THE TOASTS OF THE COASTS AND NCAA - When USC defeated Pacific 74-68 on Feb. 8 it completed an undefeated nonconference slate of 11-0. USC was also undefeated during the 2016-17 nonconference schedule. Only USC and Villanova (2016-17 and 2017-18) have posted two perfect nonconference seasons of 10 or more wins in the last six years.
USC'S ELITE EIGHT RUN UP FOR AN LA SPORTS AWARD - The USC men's basketball run to the Elite Eight is up for Greatest Sports Moment of 2021 by the LA Sports Council. Fans can vote for their favorite moment and the winners will be announced at the 17th Annual LA Sports Awards Show which will be simulcast on Tuesday, March 8 on Spectrum's Sportsnet and SportsnetLA. Fans can vote through Thursday, March 3rd on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
WASHINGTON ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at home vs. Washington (13-9, 8-4) on Feb. 17 at 8:30 p.m. Washington is coming off an 87-64 home win over ASU on Feb. 10. Washington will host Arizona on Feb. 12 before traveling to Los Angeles. The Huskies have won 7 of their last 9 games. Washington's and the Pac-12's leading scorer is guard Terrell Brown Jr. who averages 21.8 points per game. The all-time series is tied at 75-all (2 USC wins in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 77-75). USC has won its last three games against Washington and has won six of its last seven games against Washington at the Galen Center.
LEADERS OF THE PAC -- USC is second in conference wins among Pac-12 teams for the past five seasons (since the 2017-18 season). USC is 55-32 in conference games during that stretch, while Oregon is 56-28, UCLA is 54-29, Arizona is 54-32 and Colorado is 47-35.
GOODWIN'S IMPROVEMENT STANDS OUT - Chevez Goodwin has started all 23 games and is averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and ranks 15th in the country in shooting percentage (59.4). Last season, Goodwin averaged 5.6 points and 3.5 rebounds and made one start. Goodwin had 18 rebounds at Colorado on Jan. 20, the most by a Trojan since Nick Rakocevic also had 18 vs. Vanderbilt on Nov. 11, 2018. Also, his 9 offensive rebounds on Jan. 13 were the most by a Trojan since Taj Gibson had 10 on Nov. 20, 2008 vs. Seton Hall. Goodwin has recorded seven rebounds or more in 13 games this season and has scored nine or more points in 19 games.
THE EXCITEMENT OF HOME GAMES -- USC has trailed by 10 or more points in six of its last seven home games and is 5-2 in those games. The one game they only trailed by nine points (Stanford) was one of the two losses. USC has comeback from 13, 12, 11 and 10-point (twice) deficits to win those contests.