Photo by © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY
USC Basketball

USC catches fire in the 2nd half, cruises to 66-49 win over Oregon

February 21, 2019

LOS ANGELES - In the first game of their final homestand, the Trojans(15-12 ,8-6) upended the Oregon Ducks(15-11,6-7) 66-49 for their 2nd straight win. The victory keeps USC within striking distance of one of the top seeds in the Pac-12 and avenges an 60-81 loss they suffered to Oregon in Eugene last month.

Bennie Boatwright continued his hot shooting tonight, hitting 6-of-9 three pointers and leading the team with 20 points. Alongside him, Nick Rakocevic played well in his return to the starting lineup, scoring 17 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. However, the biggest difference in tonight’s win from last month’s loss was rebounding and assists. After getting outrebounded 24-35 in the first matchup, the Trojans grabbed 35 to Oregon’s 28 and also dished out 20 assists after having just 12 in the January loss.

Although, USC finished the game with strong offensive numbers, the first few minutes were a struggle. The Trojans got off to a horrible start where they shot just 1-for-6 and committed 2 turnovers in the first five minutes. Andy Enfield was visibly upset with his starters and promptly subbed in Elijah Weaver. After the team settled in, they began to play better due to increased ball movement and energy.

“We were taking bad shots and we were selfish,” Coach Enfield said of his team’s start. “Derryck and Elijah played great the rest of the game, I thought our players played a great game from the 10-minute mark on.”

The 10-minute mark of the 1st half was indeed the turning point for the Trojans. After being down 16-13 at that point, the Trojans outscored the Ducks 53-33 for the rest of the game. USC held a 30-25 halftime lead, and blew the game open in the 2nd period where they shot 62.5% percent from the field while holding Oregon to just 33.3% shooting on the night.

Up next, the Trojans will close out their home schedule with a matchup against Oregon State on Saturday afternoon. It will be the final game at the Galen Center for seniors Bennie Boatwright and Shaqquan Aaron, a development that has just begun to hit some of their teammates.

“Yeah no, its nuts, honestly,” Nick Rakocevic said.“I remember my freshman year when we were playing together and it feels like yesterday. It’s tough but we want them to go out on the highest note.”

Enfield’s Press Conference:

Tags: Basketball
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