Men's Basketball

    Dec. 30, 1997

    Trojans Fall to Tennessee

    Los Angeles - USC Coach Henry Bibby started four freshman and put a scare into unbeaten Tennessee before falling 74 - 70 in front of 3,204 at the L.A. Sports Arena.

    The injury-riddled Trojans (4-6) enter Pac-10 play this weekend at Arizona State on a frustrating 5-game losing streak.

    Proving the future is very bright, the freshman played well.

    6-6 Shannon Swillis scored a career-high 13 points, grabbed a team-high 9 rebounds and blocked 3 shots.

    Heavily recruited point-guard Kevin Augustine started for the first time and played a good all-around game. He handed out 7 assists, scored 8 and blocked a pair of shots.

    Fellow frosh Greg Lakey and Jeff Trepagnier also received priase.

    USC led early in the second half, 44-42, and the game was tied at 48 before the Vols scored 11 straight to take control. Reserve forward Adam Spanich led the team with 15 points.

    Tennessee's (10-0)Vegas Davis, a University of Arizona transfer, scored a career-high 23.

    Sharp-shooting guard Larry Ayuso did not dress because of a sprained ankle. 6-8 Jarvis Turner is still sidelined by a broken hand. Plus, key contributors Gary Williams and Ken Sims are suffering from the flu.

    USC Head Coach Henry Bibby -

    "I thought the effort was very good tonight. We scored enough points to win. We didn't shoot free throws (12 of 21) and that was the difference in the game.

    The house has been cleared. The four freshman that started four years we're going to be pretty excited about them. We're in the building phase. They all played well. They are the heart and soul of the team. We're going to be o.k."

    On Freshman Kevin Augstine-
    "He adds something different to our game. We get better with him on the floor. I was very pleased with his performance tonight.

    USC Guard Kevin Augustine-
    "I see the near-future being very postive. We (four freshman) play well together. We've proven we can play close games. We just have to win and get over the hump. I'm still trying to improve, get healthy and distribute the ball."

    Tennessee Coach Jerry Green-
    "They're adjusting without Jarvis Turner, who is their best post player. It's hard when you're missing your best rebounder and inside scorer. They'll be better when he comes back."

    USC entered the game shooting a sizzling 40-percent from 3-point range, second best in the Pac-10.

    At 15:00 of the first-half forward Gary Williams got up to enter the game, took of his warm-up and discovered he was not wearing his jersey. A sheepish Williams then hustled to the lockerroom to put on his familiar number 3.

    L.A. Clippers Executive Elgin Baylor scouted the game. Magic Johnson attended the SC game against Kansas.