USC Heads To Arizona For Final Two Games Of The Season
March 2, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The USC Trojans (16-12, 8-8) will play at the Arizona State Sun Devils (20-9, 10-6) on March 4 at 5:30 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net with Steve Physioc and P.J. Carlesimo calling all the action. It will also air live on USC radio flagship sister station KLAA Radio 830 AM with Pete Arbocast and Jim Hefner providing commentary. USC has lost three consecutive games after winning four in-a-row.
SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS -- Arizona State is second in the Pac-10 after a 62-46 loss at California on Feb. 27, but has won six of its last eight games. USC defeated ASU 47-37 on Jan. 2 at the Galen Center. USC leads the all-time series 49-32 and has won 14 of the last 20 played between the two schools. Ty Abbott (12.3 ppg), Rihards Kuksiks (11.4 ppg) and Derek Glasser (10.2 ppg) lead the Sun Devils in scoring.
TROJANS SENIOR DAY STREAK SNAPPED -- USC had won 13 consecutive times on Senior Day, but managed to squander an 11-point first-half lead and fell 49-44 vs. Oregon State on Feb. 27. Seth Tarver had 14 points to lead the Beavers to a sweep in the season series while Roeland Schaftenaar made four free throws in the final minute to seal the win for OSU. The Trojans shot 29.4 percent from the field and committed 20 turnovers. It was their third straight loss. Mike Gerrity made a layup with 34 seconds left for the Trojans final basket, pulling the team as close as 46-44 with 33 seconds left. The Beavers had 11 steals and scored 19 points off the Trojans' turnovers. After trailing by one at halftime, Oregon State opened the second half with an 11-4 run to take control of the game. Gerrity had 13 points and Dwight Lewis 11.
WILDCATS ON DECK -- The Arizona Wildcats (14-14, 8-8) will host UCLA on March 4 before hosting USC in Tucson on March 6 at 10:30 a.m. (PT). USC defeated Arizona 56-50 at the Galen Center on Dec. 31 to improve to 39-55 all-time vs. Arizona. USC has defeated Arizona two of the last three games at McKale Center, but the win in 2007 snapped a 21-game losing streak at Arizona.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS -- USC enters the game allowing 56.1 points per game, third-best in the country and the Trojans' lowest per game average since allowing 51.3 in the 1951 season. USC held 9 consecutive teams to 56 points or less from Dec. 8-Jan. 6 (longest streak since 12 in the 1947-48 season). USC has held 17 opponents to 56 points or less this season and only twice has allowed more than 67 points (69 at Texas & 79 at Georgia Tech). The last time USC had just two games of allowing more than 67 points in a game was the 1949 season. USC's .379 defensive field goal percentage ranks fifth all-time by a Trojan team and the best since holding opponents to .354 shooting in 1960.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS -- Nikola Vucevic has led or tied for USC's lead in rebounding for 11 consecutive games (10.7 rpg) and has grabbed seven or more boards in all but two games this season. Vucevic's 275 rebounds this season rank third all-time by a Trojan sophomore and he is 10 rebounds away from passing Jaha Wilson (284 in 1995) and moving into second place. Ten rebounds would also move him to 11th place on USC's single-season rebound list. Vucevic's 9.8 rebounds per game are the most by a Trojan since Wilson averaged 10.1 in 1995.
TAKING NOTE... -- USC is 12-1 when taking more FTs than its opponents...In Pac-10 games, USC is the only team with all losses by 10 points or less...USC has led or been tied in the 2nd half in all 16 Pac-10 games...in USC's eight Pac-10 losses, it has committed 156 fouls, while the opponent only 96...USC is 10-1 in games it scores 60 or more points...USC is 15-2 when it has a higher shooting percentage than its opponent and 1-10 when outshot in a game...USC is 7-1 vs. the top six teams in the Pac-10 and 1-7 against the current bottom four in the standings.
VUCEVIC'S SOPHOMORE SURGE -- Sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic is second in the Pac-10 this season with 10 double-doubles, his last being a 13-point, 10 rebound effort at Washington on Feb. 18. He collected his 9th with 18-points and 14-rebound vs. Stanford on Feb. 6 and has five double-doubles in his last seven games. He matched a career high with 19 points at UCLA on Jan. 16 (9-for-12), scoring 17 points in the second half. Vucevic had 15 points and 10 rebounds vs. Tennessee on Dec. 19 for his fifth double-double. He had 14 points and posted a career-high 15 rebounds on Dec. 8 vs. Sac. State, his first 19-point game and 11 rebounds vs. LMU on Nov. 21, 15 points and 12 rebounds vs. Coppin St. on Nov. 27 and 18 points and 14 rebounds at Texas on Dec. 3. He is averaging 11.2 points and 9.8 rebounds, after averaging 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds as a freshman last season. His 9.8 rebounds per game leads all Pac-10 players and ranks 27th nationally.
WASHINGTON PROVIDES INSTANT ENERGY -- Sophomore forward Leonard Washington played in his first game of the season on Dec. 23 after missing the first semester with academic issues and had an immediate impact. He scored 10 points, had six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and an assist vs. Saint Mary's on Dec. 23. He then scored nine points and had four rebounds and a block vs. UNLV on Dec. 25. In his first 18 games back, Washington has averaged 6.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and has 11 blocks and 21 steals. His high game this season is 11 points at Oregon State on Jan. 28. He had eight rebounds and eight points vs. Washington on Feb. 18 and then eight points and four rebounds at Washington State on Feb. 20. Washington has been key for USC coming off the bench. In his last nine games, he has averaged 6.8 points (61 total) and 4.9 rebounds (44 total), while chipping in with 10 steals, four assists and four blocks. He has made 26 of his last 48 shots (54.2 percent).
BIG TIME LEWIS RISING UP SCORING LISTS -- Senior Dwight Lewis has scored 1,430 career points, tied with Brandon Granville (1999-02) for 11th on USC's all-time scoring list. Brian Scalabrine (1999-01) is 10th on USC's list with 1,441 career points. Lewis ranks 9th on USC's all-time three-point baskets list with 147 makes, nine behind Phil Glenn (1990-93) who ranks 8th with 156 makes. Lewis led USC with a 14.4 scoring average in 2008-09, as well in three-point baskets (55) and free throw shooting (74.8 percent). He reached double figures in scoring in 27 of his 33 games last season, scoring a career-high 26 twice (vs. San Francisco on Dec. 1 and at Oregon on Jan. 2). He has seven 20-point games this season (22 vs. UCR on Nov. 17, 21 vs. Tennesse on Dec. 19, 22 at Stanford on Jan. 6, 20 at Cal on Jan. 9, 24 at UCLA on Jan. 16, 23 vs. UCLA on Feb. 14 and 22 at Washington on Feb. 18) and has had 16 career 20-point games. Lewis has averaged 15.3 points in his last 14 games (214 points).
DRIVEN BY DEFENSE -- USC has held 70 teams to 60 points or less in the last five seasons (163 games), including 17 this season. The Trojans held 17 of their opponents last season to 39.2 percent shooting or less, and have held 86 teams under 40 percent shooting in the last 163 games. USC was outshot from the field just nine times last season and 11 times so far this season (Nebraska, Texas, GT, WMU, Stanford, Cal, WSU-2, Oregon-2, OSU). USC has had a better shooting percentage that its opponent in 102 of the last 133 games. USC held Sac. State to 23.0 percent shooting on Dec. 8, the lowest percentage by a Trojan opponent since Loyola Marymount shot 22.4 percent from the field on Dec. 9, 1998. USC has held it opponents this season to a 37.9 shooting percentage, best in the Pac-10 and 10th in the country.