Men's Basketball
    USC Loses 81-70 At Mogi Das Cruzes

    Head coach Kevin O'Neill addresses the team before the game starts.

    Aug. 16, 2011

    Mogi das Cruzes made 14 three-pointers and the USC men's basketball team was defeated 81-70 tonight (Aug. 16) at the Prefeitura Municipal de Mogi das Cruzes in Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil. Maurice Jones scored 17 points and Dewayne Dedmon 15 points to lead the Trojans, but a knee injury to Jio Fontan (8 points), put a damper on the evening.

    Fontan, who scored 57 points in USC's first two games on the trip, took a hit going to the basket and landed awkwardly with USC up 30-28 with 4:24 to go in the first half. After leaving the game, Fontan had an X-ray on his knee which proved negative, but is expected to have an MRI on the knee tomorrow after the team flies to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fontan's injury at this time is being termed a left knee sprain.

    USC started the "Twin Towers" for the first time with redshirt junior center James Blasczyk in the lineup along with the sophomore forward Dedmon, as junior forward Aaron Fuller missed the game because he was feeling ill. Blasczyk scored seven points and had five rebounds, while Dedmon grabbed five rebounds and made three blocks to go along with his 15 points.

    USC's top rebounder, however, was the sophomore guard Jones who grabbed eight to go along with his team-high 17 points. Sophomore forward Garrett Jackson had another strong game for USC on the trip, pouring in 12 points and pulling down six rebounds.

    Junior Greg Allen (6 points), freshman Alexis Moore (3 points) and freshman Byron Wesley (no points) were able to play for the first time on the trip as their summer school grades posted just before tip-off. Senior Eric Strangis scored the remaining three points for USC.



    Mogi is in its first season of playing in the Brazilian professional league and is off to a 3-0 start and the Trojans quickly found out why. Mogi made six three pointers in the first half to open up a 40-37 lead at the break, but they were only warming up. In the second half, Mogi made eight of its first 12 shots from beyond the arc to keep the Trojans at bay, forging a 16-point lead after the third quarter (63-47) and holding off USC for the victory.

    USC had just 11 turnovers in the game, but shot only 38.6 percent from the field (27-for-70) and 23.1 percent from three-point range (6-for-26). Mogi made 40.0 percent of its field goal attempts (24-for-60), while hitting 42.4 percent from three-point range (14-for-33). Again the Brazilian opponent showed expert marksmanship from the free throw line, as Mogi made 19 of 21 from the charity stripe for a 90.5 percentage.