The Trojans backed up their big win at Tennessee with a comfortable home victory against the defending Patriot League champs.
- Coming off a big win, fighting jet lag, this was a potential "trap game" for Kevin O'Neill's squad, but USC put together a mature performance and came out of the gate with great defensive energy. "Our guys really focused in on the defensive end," O'Neill said after the game. "I could tell we were tired...but I thought we actually played pretty good basketball." Two good stats: USC held Lehigh to 31% shooting and Nikola Vucevic had six blocks.
- When the offensive sets break down, Jio Fontan can create his own shot, which is what makes him such a valuable cog in this improving machine. "Jio is obviously getting better every game," said O'Neill about the junior transfer. "I felt bad for him that I had to throw him in at Kansas and at Tennessee, which is difficult to do, but he's responded well." Fontan had a game-high 21 points and was a perfect 4-for-4 from three. He cramped up at the end, but he's fine.
- USC's goal is to win the Pac-10. I guess that is true of every team, but the Trojans are playing with a different swagger in the last three weeks that have generated a locker room belief that they could pull off the trick for the first time in decades. "Overall, my expectation is that we are going to compete for the league title," O'Neill said bluntly. Fontan's goal is "to win it." USC's fight for first place begins with a huge homestand against early conference favorites Washington and Washington State on December 29 and 31.