Men's Basketball

    Dec. 27, 1997

    Men's Basketball Falls to Long Beach State

    LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) Badly outsized, USC (4-5) could not stop Long Beach State 7-1 center Michael Betts and got upset 81-71 in front of 4,134 at the Pyramid.

    Betts entered the contest averaging only 11 points a game, but he single-handedly rallied the 49ers (4-6) scoring 21 of his game-high 31 points in the second half.

    The Trojans led by as many as 14 in the first half and by 4, 64-59, with 8:00 remaining in the game.

    Super-sub Adam Spanich nailed 5 3-pointers and scored 19 to lead USC.

    Guard Gary Johnson added 13 and handed out 6 assists. Freshman Shannon Swillis, a 6-6 forward/center, scored 10, grabbed 8 rebounds and blocked 6 shots.

    Spanich got hot early. He hit all seven shots in the first half, including 4 of 4 from 3-point range, and sparked a blistering 19-2 run by the Trojans.

    The blitz was hi-lited by stirring slam dunks from Swillis and fellow freshman Jeff Trepagnier.

    USC will try to halt the 4-game losing streak Tuesday in the L.A. Sports Arena against Tennessee.

    USC Head Coach Henry Bibby- "They outplayed us in every category in the second half. The big fellow (Betts) made the difference. He's the difference in the game.

    We missed (sophomore center) Jarvis Turner. And we've missed (senior forward) Anthony White all year. Hopefully they will be back by Pac-10 play.

    You know Adam Spanich can shoot the ball. We can't ask anymore from him. If he gets open, he's going to knock it down."

    USC Center/Forward Shannon Swillis- On Defending Much Taller Opposing Centers (Swillis is 6-6). "We will face it all all the time. Until we get together and play great team defense, it's going to be tough."

    On Big First Half. "We were aggressive, ready to play. Ready to win and stop this losing streak.

    In the first half, USC hit all 7 3-point shots.

    Led by Spanich and Ayuso, SC is shooting nearly 39-percent from 3-point range, which a pace that would break the school record of .378 percent set in 1991-92.