USC To Play At Oregon State On Thursday
Jan. 28, 2014
The USC Trojans (10-10, 1-6) will play at the Oregon State Beavers (11-8, 3-4) at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. on Jan. 30. USC is 1-5 on the road this season.
BREAKING DOWN THE BEAVERS - The Beavers are 8-2 at home and eight of their last 10 games have been decided by nine points or less, with the other two by 11 points. OSU is coming off an 87-81 loss at Washington on Jan. 25. Redshirt senior guard Roberto Nelson leads Oregon State and all conference players with a 22.2 scoring average and 139 free throws made. USC won its only meeting with Oregon State last season, 69-68 at the Galen Center. The Trojans are 10-5 in the last 15 games against Oregon State and own a 66-59 record in the all-time series (2 wins vacacted from the 2008 season). USC has lost its last four games in Corvallis.
USC FORCES OVERTIME, BUT FALLS TO STANFORD -- USC trailed most of the game but scored 5 points in the final 35 seconds of regulation to force overtime, before falling 79-71 to Stanford on Jan. 26 at the Galen Center. The Cardinal avenged two close losses to the Trojans last season by a combined three points. USC had won 7 of its last 8 home games against Stanford. Pe'Shon Howard hit a three-pointer with 34 second left in regulation and after an Anthony Brown turnover, Byron Wesley drove the lane and got fouled and hit both free throws to forge a 61-61 tie with 22 seconds left. Stanford's Chasson Randle scored seven of his 17 points in overtime, to put the game away. Stanford made 4 of 5 shots in the overtime period and made 8 of 10 free throws. Byron Wesley led the Trojans with 18 points. J.T. Terrell and Howard added 13 each and Strahinja Gavrilovic scored a career-high 12 for the Trojans. Howard also made a career-high 7 steals which ties him for fourth place on USC's single-game steals list.
OREGON ON DECK - USC's next game will be at Oregon (14-5, 2-5) in Eugene, Ore. on Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. The Ducks won their first 12 games this season and are 9-2 at home. Oregon won its last game 71-44 at Washington State on Jan. 26 and will host UCLA on Jan. 30 before taking on the Trojans. Four Ducks are averaging in double figures, led by transfers Joseph Young (17.6), Mike Moser (13.6) and Jason Calliste (11.8). USC leads the all-time series with Oregon 60-48 (2 wins vacacted from the 2008 season), but has lost the last six meetings. USC last defeated Oregon in the 2009 season, when it swept the season series.
A FEW KEYS TO VICTORY -- USC is 8-1 when Nikola Jovanovic scores in double figures and is 8-2 when having more or as many assists as turnovers. USC is also 7-0 when holding the opposition to under 70 points and 8-0 when holding them to a field goal percentage under 40 percent.
OH, OH, ORABY -- Center Omar Oraby has 49 blocks this season and 96 in his Trojan career to rank 8th on USC's all-time blocks list. He has at least one block in every game this season.
TERRELL GETTING HIS GROOVE BACK -- USC's top returning scorer from last season senior guard J.T. Terrell missed a majority of the first semester with academic issues, but seems to be finding a comfort zone on the court. In the last four games he has averaged 11.5 points and 3.8 rebounds. He has shot 45.5 percent from the floor (15-for-33), including 50.0 percent from 3-point range (8-for-16) in the last four games. In the last game vs. Stanford on Jan. 26, Terrell had his first two dunks since getting two in the first game of the season.
HOW KEY IS THE THREE? -- USC is 7-3 this season when making five or more three-pointers in a game and 8-1 when hitting 33.0 percent or more in a game. USC is 3-7 when its opponents make 33 percent or more of its three-point baskets. In the last six games USC shot 27.8 percent from three-point range (22-for-79). In Pac-12 play, USC has made 27 three-pointers, fewest in the conference, while Oregon State has made a league-leading 52.
SIGNS OF SLAM CITY -- USC had two dunks vs. Stanford on Jan. 26 and now has out-slammed the opposition 56-28 this season. USC has eight games with at least four dunks, while the opposition has only two (5 - Villanova on Nov. 28 and 4- ASU on Jan. 9).
NO VACATION WHEN HIT THE ROAD -- USC is 1-5 on the road this season. The combined home record of the first six teams USC has faced on the road this season is 62-11 (through games of Jan. 27).
GETTING TO THE LINE -- USC has taken 498 free throws through 19 games for an average of 24.9 per game. Last season through 20 games, USC averaged 18.1 free throw attempts (361 total). USC opponents this season have taken 20.6 free throws per game. USC has struggled at the free throw line this season (65.1 percent) with six games under 60.0 percent from the charity stripe.
OFFENSE BACK ON TRACK? -- USC has made 46.8 percent of its shots (52-for-111), 33.3 percent from three-point range (9-for-27) and has averaged 74 points in the last two games. In the previous four games, USC produced a total of 241 points or 60.2 per game, including three of USC's lowest scoring games of the season. The 60 points vs. ASU on Jan. 9 vs. ASU were a season low before being held to 53 against Arizona on Jan. 12. USC then scored 66 points at Utah on Jan. 16 and 62 at Colorado on Jan. 18. Through games of Jan. 27, Arizona ranked 4th and Utah 25th in the country in fewest points per game allowed. USC shot 40.9 percent (90-for-220) from the field and 25.0 percent (13-for-52) from three-point range in those games.
WHERE DID HE COME FROM? -- Sophomore forward Strahinja Gavrilovic scored a then-career-high 10 points vs. Arizona on Jan. 12 and followed that up with nine points at Utah on Jan. 16. He then scored a career-high 12 points vs. Stanford on Jan. 26. Gavrilovic has scored 35 points in the last five games (7.0 ppg), prior to that he had scored a total of 21 points in USC's first 15 games.
PE'SHON, BACK IN THE SCORING COLUMN -- Guard Pe'Shon Howard is averaging 10.1 points per game this season and was even better in the seven games from Nov. 28-Dec. 22 when he averaged 15.4 points. Howard then went scoreless in the games vs. Howard and at UCLA while taking just four shots. He did however have 11 assists and nine rebounds in the two games. Howard scored 16 points at Utah on Jan. 16 after totaling 13 points in the previous four games (3.3 average). He also had 12 points and 10 assists vs. California on Jan. 22 and followed that up with 13 points and six assists vs. Stanford on Jan. 26. In the last two games he has averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 8 assists