USC Men's Basketball Beats Vermont 64-56|
Dec. 31, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Strahinja Gavrilovic scored 15 points, making 9 of 12 free throws, Katin Reinhardt added 11 and Southern California defeated Vermont 64-56 Tuesday night in the Trojans' last non-conference game before opening Pac-12 play later this week.
Nikola Jovanovic had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans (8-4), who have won six of their last seven, giving them momentum going into their league opener at No. 10 Utah on Friday.
Kurt Steidl scored 18 points - one off his career high - and Ethan O'Day added 14 for the Catamounts (5-7), who have lost three straight. Steidl had eight rebounds, hit four three-pointers and made all four of his free throws.
Vermont's top defender Dre Wills played just nine minutes after getting hurt in the first half. He briefly returned late in the game.
The Catamounts trailed by 18 when they rallied to get to 54-48 with 9:50 remaining. They outscored USC 16-4, including five in a row by Steidl and a 3-pointer by Brandon Hatton. O'Day added four points.
A basket by Hector Harold got Vermont within four, and he nearly stole the ball before Jovanovic picked it up and scored to keep USC ahead 62-56 with 1:27 remaining. The Catamounts have lost their last three by a total of 12 points.
Vermont was held to a season-low 30 percent from the field.
The Trojans built an eight-point lead to start the game before the Catamounts closed within four on consecutive dunks by O'Day despite shooting 23 percent. USC answered with a 22-9 run to close the half leading 43-26. The Trojans were 13 of 17 from the line in the half, while Vermont went 7 of 8.
Vermont: The Catamounts fell to 0-3 on their four-game trip. ... They are 1-6 against Pac-12 schools. ... Harold, a Pasadena native and former Pepperdine player, returned after missing the last three games with a foot injury. He finished with four points and nine rebounds. ... Vermont narrowly missed equaling its lowest points in a half, 24, set last week in a loss at St. Louis.
USC: The Trojans' largest lead was 19 points late in the first half. ... It was the first meeting between the schools.
Vermont: At UC Santa Barbara on Friday.
USC: At No. 10 Utah on Friday.