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No. 16 USC Men's Basketball Closes Regular Season at Rival No. 17 UCLA

Mar 4, 2022

The No. 16 USC Trojans (25-5, 14-5) will play at the No. 17 UCLA Bruins (22-6, 14-5) at Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, Calif. on March 5 at 7 p.m.  The game will air on ESPN with Roxy Bernstein and Bill Walton calling the action and Molly McGrath providing insightful courtside commentary. USC's 25 wins are a regular season school record.  The most wins in school history (including postseason) is 26 set in the 2016-17 season (26-10).  USC's 83.3 winning percentage currently is the Trojans' best since going 24-2 (92.3 winning percentage) in the 1970-71 season.  USC is 8-2 in its last 10 games, both setbacks coming against Arizona.

WINNING WAYS -- USC has won a school-record 72 games over the last three seasons (22 in 2020, 25 in 2021 and 25 in 2022).  The previous school record for wins in three consecutive seasons was 71 (2016-18). The three consecutive seasons of 20+ wins also equals the school record for most consecutive 20-win seasons set from 2016-18.  

FACING No. 17 UCLA --   No. 17 UCLA (22-6, 14-5) is coming off a 77-66 win at Washington on Feb. 28.  UCLA is led in scoring by Johnny Juzang at 17.0 points per game. The Trojans defeated the Bruins 67-64 at the Galen Center on Feb. 12 to run its winning streak to five against UCLA, its longest such streak since winning 42 straight from 1932-43.  UCLA has won 5 of its last 6 games since falling at USC.  USC trails 114-143 in the all-time series (1 win in 2008 vacated due to NCAA penalty, original record 115-143).  

IT USUALLY STARTS WITH DEFENSE -- Despite allowing Arizona to make 55.6 percent of its field goals on March 1, the highest percentage by a Trojan opponent since 2019, USC has held 20 of its 30 opponents to under 40 percent shooting this season.  USC is holding the opposition to a 38.7 shooting percentage, 14th in the country (6th entering the Arizona game).  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. 

USC FALLS TO ARIZONA BEFORE A SELLOUT CROWD -- In its first game hosting a team ranked as high as No. 2 since 2014, the No. 16 Trojans came up short in a 91-71 loss to No. 2 Arizona at the Galen Center on March 1.  USC fell behind 21-8 seven minutes into the game and got no closer than 9 points the rest of the game.  USC never led in the game and suffered its worst loss of the season and worst against Arizona since 2015.  Arizona efficiently dissected the USC defense, taking a 51-27 lead into halftime and a 30-point margin 5 minutes into the second half.  The Wildcats made a USC opponent high 55.6 percent ot their shots, while USC made 39.7 percent of its shots.  The Arizona shooting percentage was the highest by a USC opponent since Oregon made 55.8 percent of its shots on Jan. 13, 2019.  Max Agbonkpolo led USC with 14 points.  USC's three leading scorers entering the game Isaiah Mobley, Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis combined to make 8 of 34 shots (23.5 percent).  Arizona made 12 of 25 3-pointers (48 percent), while USC was 4 of 18 from beyond the arc (22.2 percent).  Bennedict Mathurin led Arizona with 19 points.  USC had its second sellout of the season and set a Galen Center record for student attendance of 2,960. USC outscored Arizona 44-40 in the second half..  

GOODWIN EYES THE TOP OF THE HILL -- USC forward Chevez Goodwin has played in 168 career games, second all-time among NCAA Division I players behind Jordan Bohanon of Iowa who has played in 172 through March 3.  The NCAA record for games played entering this season was 157 by David Lighty of Ohio State (2007-11).  Goodwin has played in 63 games as a member of the Trojans' program.

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.

PAC-12 TOURNAMENT ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at the Pac-12 Tournament  on March 10 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.  If USC is the No. 2 seed it will play the winner of the No. 7/No. 10 game at 6 p.m.  If USC is the No. 3 seed, it will play the winner of the No. 6/No. 11 game at 8:30 p.m.  USC is *19-20 all-time at the Pac-12 Tournament (1 win vacated in 2008, original record 20-20).  USC went' 1-1 at the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament, defeating Utah 91-85 in 2 OT before falling to Colorado, 72-70, on a tip-in at the buzzer.

LEADERS OF THE PAC -- USC is tied for the conference lead in wins among Pac-12 teams for the past five seasons (since the 2017-18 season) through games of March 3.  USC is 60-33 in conference games during that stretch as is Arizona at 60-33, while UCLA is 59-33, Oregon is 58-33 and Colorado is 53-40.

     • USC is 9-1 in games decided by 5 points or less
     • Only 6 teams have more wins than USC (Murray State, Arizona, S.Dakota St., Auburn,
        Duke, Houston)
     • USC is 20-2 in games this season when Chevez Goodwin scores 9 or more points
     •USC has comeback from 5 deficits of 10 points or more and has trailed by as many as 5 
       points in 16 of its wins.