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3-Points: Nebraska 64, USC 61

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The Trojans lose a heartbreaker in double overtime to move to 1-1 on the season.

Click here for Kevin O'Neill's entire post-game press conference.

USC can take some valuable lessons away from this loss.

  • Maurice Jones needs to have a score first mentality.  The sophomore point guard is transitioning between a complementary facilitator and a starring alpha dog.  "Mo has got to take it on his shoulders," O'Neill had no problems with Jones taking 22 shots.  "I've got to turn back into high school mode and score more," said Jones, who hit what looked like a game-winning runner with seconds left in the first overtime before a questionable foul call on Alexis Moore gave Nebraska two free throws to force double OT.
  • Dewayne Dedmon needs to be on the floor.  The uber-talented big man was saddled with first half foul trouble for the second consecutive game.  "He's not there yet," O'Neill said about his center's game.  "Everybody just has to be patient with the guy as he comes along."  Dedmon played only seven minutes in the first half and made just 1/6 shots for the game, but he anchored the defense down the stretch with 10 rebounds and two blocks.
  • The Trojans will win games with their defense.  Thanks to the Brazil trip, O'Neill's young team has advanced knowledge of his hard-nosed system.  "I thought our defense was outstanding," said O'Neill, who was happy with holding the Huskers to 36.5% shooting and forcing 19 turnovers.  "We're going to grow up from this.  And I think we'll be a team that gets better because of this."  Freshmen are rarely counted on for defense this time of year, but Alexis Moore and Byron Wesley came up with huge stops down the stretch.

And 1...

  • "We did everything, but win the game," O'Neill summed it up.  Dedmon missed a wide open free throw line jumper for the win in regulation.  Nebraska was then bailed out by a lucky bounce on a three in overtime and then a fortunate refereeing decision.  However, the Huskers were a clutch 17/23 (74%) from the free throw line, while USC made only 12/22 (54.5%).
Maurice Jones described his transitioning game and the state of the team in his post-game interview.


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