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USC Basketball

USC Scoop Hoops Report: USC Falls To Oregon State 58-56

January 19, 2021
818

Say it with me...Just like football!!!  

During the football season, USC would find a way to come back and beat teams with lesser talent, but we all knew using late-game heroics was not how good teams were supposed to beat lesser teams. Tuesday night in Corvallis, the Trojans' comeback fell short against the Beavers 58-56, losing for the first time in 7 games; the loss also prevented the team from improving to 3-0 on the road in the conference for the first time since 1985. The last time they won the conference outright.

On a night when the Trojans(11-3, 5-2) would jump out to an 8-0 lead, they found a way to lose on the road.  So how does the PAC-12's best defensive team allow the Beavers to win?  Well, in the first half, USC shot the ball 0-9 from behind the arc, and for the game, their free-throw shooting again hurt them more than it helped, where they were a dreadful 10-18 from the line.  The Trojans did find their stroke from three (6-11) in the second half, which gave them a chance at the end to tie or win the game.  Turnovers played a role again and it made sure to make an appearance in crunch time too.  

Those past gritty wins were supposed to be a benefit as the season played out, however, tonight it wasn’t meant to be.  With 15 seconds left in the game coming out of a timeout, the plan was fumbled and bumbled when Evan Mobley, with the ball, made a move but tripped near the basket, throwing the ball out to the top, finding Drew Peterson--who was forced into a rushed off-balance shot from the outside. From there, the ball tipped around for the final few seconds as a scramble for the loose ball until the horn sounded, leaving Andy Enfield in Corvallis and myself in Los Angeles, grabbing our head with both hands and squeezing as hard as possible without popping an eyeball out of the socket.

When asked after the game if there was a specific play set up, Enfield said, "We put our shooters in the corners--and had Drew with a high ball screen with Evan.--It was either going to be a quick pass back to Evan isolating at the elbow, or if Drew kept penetrating he[Evan] would roll.--He had the lob over the top because their big man helped... and Drew just didn't see him.--It was an easy lob over the top...it could have been an easy dunk."

The offense was more efficient and somewhat effective in the 2nd half; however, their execution down the stretch resembled what the offense looked like for most of the game.  After the game, Enfield said, "We made it very challenging for ourselves because our first-half offense was very inefficient with turnovers and missed shots. "Ideally, we'd like to execute a little better than that. But we had our best player off a ball screen, and we had a rim run with a lob open, and then we had our best player with the ball under the basket...so we didn't execute.--And unfortunately, the ball didn't go in" said, Enfield during his postgame comments.

The Trojans defensively were still pretty good on the night hold the Beavers to 42% from the field. But Oregon State, on the strength of 6-15 from behind the arc and 12-14 from the charity stripe, left the Trojans coming up short.

Up next, the Trojans will fly down to the Bay area where they have a 2:00 PM tip-off Thursday against the Stanford Cardinal on FS1, and then they will close out the 3-game road trip with a game Saturday in Berkeley against Cal.

Tags: Basketball, USC
 
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