Photo by Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
USC Basketball

Bennie Boatwright explodes for 36 points as USC routs Cal, 89-66

February 16, 2019

BERKELEY - After three straight tough losses, USC (14-12,7-6) needed someone to step up and lead the Trojans to a much needed win.

Enter Bennie Boatwright.

The senior captain scored 36 points, including a school record 10 three-pointers to help USC rout Cal, 89-66.

“He [Bennie] deserved it,” Coach Enfield said. “He played a great game, he shot the ball well, took some open shots and hit some tough shots.”

With their 7th conference victory, USC remains in contention for one of the top seeds in the Pac-12 with five games remaining. The Trojans, who average 20 assists in wins this season, had 24 tonight led by Derryck Thornton, who dished out 7. The strong ball movement drew praise from Enfield after game.

“It was a team effort,” Enfield said. “Our point guard play was outstanding, they were all finding people tonight and it’s fun to watch our team play when they share the ball like that.”

From the start, the Trojans came out one a mission. Led by Boatwright, who had 11 points in the first 10 minutes, including 3 three pointers, Andy Enfield’s squad began to dismantle Cal’s zone defense with their outside shooting. However, the Golden Bears were doing the same to the Trojans. After falling behind 13-3, Cal caught fire from beyond the arc and made 4 three pointers to get within 19-12 going into a media timeout with 11 minutes left in the first half.

Unfortunately for the Golden Bears, they were not able to maintain their hot shooting. After starting the game hitting 4-of-8 three pointers, Cal went cold from beyond-the-arc, finishing just 9-of-26 (34%).

With Boatwright wreaking havoc in the middle of the zone, opportunities were opened up for the other Trojans throughout the game. Nick Rakocevic and Kevin Porter Jr. were among the biggest beneficiaries, scoring 12 and 14 points, respectively. After holding a 41-26 lead at halftime, the Trojans outscored Cal 58-40 in the 2nd half and cruised to their 14th win of the season.

For Cal, a difficult season continues. Wyking Jones’ team, who shot just 40% from the field, falls to 5-20 on the season, and 0-13 in Pac-12 play. They were led by Justice Sueing, who had 17 points and 5 rebounds.

Up Next: USC will travel back to the Galen Center for their final homestand of the season vs. Oregon and Oregon State. The Trojans lost both of their games to these teams on the road in January.

Tags: Basketball
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