USC Plays At WSU Saturday In Final Regular Season Game|
March 7, 2013
USC (14-16, 9-8) will play at Washington State (12-18, 3-14) in Pullman, Wash. on March 9 at 3:30 p.m. USC is 6-3 in its last nine games and is 7-6 under interim head coach Bob Cantu. If USC wins today it will close the season 7-3 in its final 10 regular season games, its best 10-game finish since also going 7-3 in the 2008 season.
BREAKING DOWN THE COUGARS -- Washington State defeated UCLA 73-61 on March 6 to snap a nine-game losing streak. Though the Cougars had lost nine consecutive games, five of those were decided by four points or less. WSU has four players averaging in double figures: Brock Motum (17.9), Mike Ladd (11.4), DaVonte Lacy (10.5) and Royce Woolridge (10.5). USC defeated WSU 72-68 at the Galen Center on Feb. 7 and leads the all-time series 68-46.
USC COMES UP SHORT AT WASHINGTON -- Washington went on a 9-0 run midway through the second half after Dewayne Dedmon picked up his fourth foul to take control for a 65-57 win on March 6 in Seattle. Scott Suggs scored 18 points and Jernard Jarreau added a career-high 12 points as the Huskies combined to make 17 consecutive free throws over the final 17:40 of the game. Dedmon matched a career high with 18 points. Jio Fontan was limited due to a sprained right wrist, but still was able to score five points and dish out seven assists. USC cut Washington's 10-point lead to six with 50 seconds left, but missed a layup which could have brought it to 4 points with 30 seconds left. USC made only 37.5 percent of its shots, while holding Washington to 36.1 percent and lost for the first time this season when holding the opponent to under 40 percent shooting (10-1). Washington dominated the boards with a 48-29 edge, including grabbing 19 offensive rebounds.
PAC-12 TOURNEY ON DECK -- USC will play at the 2013 Pac-12 Conference Tournament on Wednesday, March 13 at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. Pending the last weekend of Pac-12 action, the Trojans could finish as the 6th-8th seed in the tournament.
OFFENSE CLICKING IN CONFERENCE -- USC has averaged 68.8 points in Pac-12 games this season, fourth-best among Pac-12 schools. The Trojans are fifth in Pac-12 play with a 43.9 shooting percentage and are second in three-point field goal percentage at 37.9 percent. USC has scored 68 or more points in 9 of the last 14 games, after scoring 68 points or more just three times in the first 16 games. Also, USC scored 69 or more points in four consecutive games (Jan. 12-24) for the first time since the 2008 season. The 93 points at ASU on Jan. 24 were the most by USC since also scoring 93 in overtime vs. California on March 6, 2008. However, USC has scored just 57 points in each of its last two games, its two lowest totals in the last nine games.
THE SIMPLE TRUTH -- In USC's 14 wins it has held the opposition to a 37.5 field goal percentage and an average of 60.7 points per game. In the 16 losses, USC's opponents have made 45.5 percent of its shots and scored 73.0 points per game. Also, in the wins USC has an average of 38.2 rebounds, whereas the Trojans get 32.6 rebounds per game in the losses. USC also makes 73.6 percent of its free throws in the wins and 64.3 percent in the losses.
PAY ATTENTION -- Turns out the first basket of a USC game is pretty important as the Trojans own a 11-5 record when they score first and are 3-11 in games the opposition records the first basket.
RPI OR R.I.P...? -- USC is one of five teams (Michigan State-14, Nebraska-14, USC-13, Wisconsin-13, Stanford-13) to have played at least 13 games against top 50 RPI teams as of March 6.
THE FULLER, THE BETTER -- When senior forward Aaron Fuller plays at least 20 minutes in a game, USC is 5-0. He is only 1-for-4 with seven rebounds in the last two games, but was 5-for-6 with three rebounds and 12 points in 19 minutes vs. Arizona on Feb. 27. In the last nine games played, Fuller has made 21 of 29 shots for a 72.4 shooting percentage, while grabbing 33 rebounds.