Men's Basketball
    USC And Penn State Meet In Fifth-Place Game At Charleston Classic

    Strahinja Gavrilovic keyed USC's comeback win over Drexel with 10 second-half points.
    Nov. 22, 2014

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    The USC Trojans (2-2) will face the Penn State Nittany Lions (3-1) in the fifth-place game at the Charleston Classic at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C. on Nov. 23 at 12:30 p.m. (PT). The game will air on ESPN3 and be carried on USC flagship station ESPNLA 710.

    USC FACES PENN STATE IN CHARLESTON CLASSIC 5TH-PLACE GAME -- Penn State is 3-1 this season with wins over Morgan State (61-48), Fordham (73-54) and Cornell (72-71), with a double-overtime loss to Charlotte (106-97). Senior guard D.J. Newbill leads Penn State in scoring with a 24.0 points per game average and has scored 35 and 26 in the two games at the Charleston Classic. Penn State was 16-18 last season and returned 10 letterwinners and four starters from that team. USC and Penn State have met only one other time in men's basketball, with PSU winning 70-61 in the third-place game of the 1954 NCAA Tournament.

    TROJANS RALLY TO DEFEAT DREXEL -- USC rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to defeat Drexel 72-70 in a second-round game at the Charleston Classic on Nov. 23. The Dragons came out on fire, hitting their first seven shots to open up a 17-4 lead before the Trojans started to rally. After pulling to within three points at 29-26, Drexel's Damion Lee scored 11 points in the final 2:13 of the half to make it 40-28. Strahinja Gavrilovic started the second half and scored seven of USC's first nine points as the Trojans cut the lead to six, four minutes in. USC took its first lead on a dunk by Nikola Jovanovic with 10:27 remaining and took the lead for good on his layup at the 3:23 mark. USC turned up the pressure with a full-court press which led to 21 Drexel turnovers. USC worked the ball inside with 16 of its 18 baskets in the second half coming in the paint which led to a 46-18 advantage on points in the lane. Darion Clark led USC with 15 points in his first start. Lee had 32 for Drexel and tied a USC opponent record with eight three-pointers made.

    ROSTER BREAKDOWN -- There are a total of 14 players on the 2014-15 USC basketball roster and 11 of them are freshmen or sophomores, with just three juniors and no seniors. The Trojan team by class are: Seniors (0): None; Juniors (3): Chass Bryan (G), Strahinja Gavrilovic (F) and Brendyn Taylor (G); Sophomores (7): Darion Clark (F), Samer Dhillon (F), Kahlil Dukes (G), Julian Jacobs (G), Nikola Jovanovic (F), Devon Pflueger (G) and Katin Reinhardt (G); Freshmen (4): Malik Marquetti (G), Malik Martin (F), Jordan McLaughlin (G) and Elijah Stewart (G).

    MARTIN TO HAVE MRI TAKEN -- USC freshman forward Malik Martin suffered a hyperextension of his right knee early in the win vs. Drexel on Nov. 21 and will have an MRI taken on Monday when the team returns to Los Angeles.

    PAIR KEYS SECOND HALF SURGE -- Pressed into service due to a knee injury to Malik Martin in the first half, Strahinja Gavrilovic started the second half and scored all 10 of his points after the break, including seven of USC's first nine points during the comeback. Julian Jacobs, who started USC's first three games, came off the bench and scored all 12 of his points in the second half. He also had three steals and two assists in the game.

    SUDDEN IMPACT -- Freshman Jordan McLaughlin leads USC with an average of 13.3 points in the first four games. He also leads USC in free throws attempted (23), assists (23), steals (9) and it tied in blocks (3). USC's freshman class of McLaughlin, Malik Martin, Elijah Stewart and Malik Marquetti has scored 38.3 percent of the Trojans' points this season (98 of 256).

    TITANS ON THE HORIZON -- USC's next game will be vs. Cal State Fullerton at the Galen Center on Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. CSUF is 1-2 with losses at Santa Clara and New Mexico and a home win against San Jose State on Nov. 22 (70-66). CSUF is led in scoring by senior Moses Morgan (16.3 ppg). USC is 4-0 all-time vs. the Titans, last winning 76-62 on Nov. 19, 2013.

    BETTER BE READY TO ROLL... -- Starting with the game against Portland State on Nov. 15, the USC men's basketball team began a stretch of six games in 11 days (2-2). The longest stretch of days without a game between Nov. 15 and Nov. 25 is two days, with no games on Nov. 18 and 19.

    YOUNG LEGS...? -- All four members of USC's freshman class are tied for the team lead with three blocks each.

    YOUTH WILL BE SERVED -- The Trojans started freshmen guard Jordan McLaughlin and forward Malik Martin in the opener, the first freshmen in the USC opening night lineup since Byron Wesley started the 2011-12 season opener. They also became the first pair of USC freshmen to start since Bryce Jones and Maurice Jones got the nod in the opener of the 2010-11 season. USC's freshmen scored 21 of the Trojans first 25 points and 50 percent of the team's points in the opener (34 of 68).