Army Marches In For Game At Galen Saturday|
Dec. 11, 2014
The USC Trojans (6-3) will host the Army Black Knights (6-2) at the Galen Center on Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network and be carried on ESPNLA 710. USC is 4-1 at home this season and has won a season-high four straight games. The last time USC won more games consecutively was when it won eight straight from Dec. 8, 2009-Jan. 2, 2010.
BREAKING DOWN ARMY -- The Army Black Knights of the Patriot League are 6-2 after an 80-73 home loss to Bryant on Dec. 9. Army's only other loss was a 93-73 setback at Duke. Army returned all five starters and 16 lettermen from last season's 15-16 team. Junior guard Kyle Wilson leads Army with a 22.0 points per game average, 10 Black Knights average over 10 minutes played per game and 19 players have seen action. This will be the first meeting ever between USC and Army in basketball.
TROJANS SCORE A SEASON HIGH IN WIN OVER UTAH STATE -- Nikola Jovanovic tied his career high with 23 points to lead four players in double figures and USC edged Utah State 89-84 on Dec. 7 for its fourth consecutive victory. The Trojans shot 50 percent from the field, including making 12 of 26 from 3-point range. Jovanovic was 9 of 11 from the field, including making a pair of 3-pointers. Jordan McLaughlin added a career-high 21 points, making five 3-pointers, Strahinja Gavrilovic scored 13 points off the bench and Katin Reinhardt scored 11. Utah State's David Collette set career-highs with 32 points and 14 rebounds for his first career double-double to lead the Aggies. With the game tied 60-60 with 10:54 to go Gavrilovic exploded for seven consecutive points to start an 11-2 Trojans run, but the Aggies fought back to tie it at 76 with just under four minutes to play. Jovanovic took over at that point, nailing a the tiebreaking 3-pointer from the top of the key and adding a pair of layups in an 11-5 USC run to make it 87-81 Trojans with under a minute to go. USC held on from there despite missing six straight free throws in the final 34 seconds before a pair of makes by McLaughlin iced it.
NEXT UP: TRIP EAST TO FACE BC -- USC's next game will be at Boston College on Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. (PT). BC is 4-3 this season and improved to 3-0 at home with a 69-60 win vs. Providence on Dec. 5. The Eagles will host Maine (Dec. 11) and Binghamton (Dec. 14) before facing the Trojans. Junior guard Olivier Hanlon leads BC in scoring with a 17.3 average. The two teams met last season at the Galen Center with USC winning 78-62. USC is 3-0 all-time against BC. Head coach Jim Christian is in his first season at Boston College.
EXPLOSIVE OPPONENTS -- When USC faces Army and it leading scorer Kyle Wilson (22.0 ppg, 8th) on Dec. 13 the Trojans will have faced four of the top 19 individual scorers in the country (through games of Dec. 9) in a seven-game stretch. First USC faced Damion Lee of Drexel (20.4 ppg, 19th) on Nov. 21, then D.J. Newbill of Penn State (23.3 ppg, 5th) on Dec. 23, followed by Evan Payne of LMU (21.3 ppg, 11th) on Dec. 3.
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF -- USC has averaged 11.0 turnovers the past six games (66 total), after averaging 18.7 in the first three games of the season (56 total). USC has also forced 15.2 turnovers by its opponent in the last six games (91 total), after generating only 10.7 in the first three games.
ASSAULT FROM THE ARC -- USC knocked down 12 three-pointers vs. Utah State on Dec. 7, the most makes by the Trojans from beyond the arc since making 15 three-pointers at Arizona State on Jan. 24, 2013. In the win over LMU on Dec. 3 USC made nine three-pointers, its second-most in a game since the game at ASU in 2013. The total of 21 three-pointers made in the last two games is the most made by USC in consecutive games since also netting 21 Feb. 21 and 23, 2008 vs. Oregon and Oregon State respectively.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS -- USC has held six of nine opponents this season to 40 percent shooting or less, for a combined 39.2 shooting percentage. Last season, USC's opponents had a combined field goal percentage of 43.0 percent.
SUDDEN IMPACT -- Freshman Jordan McLaughlin leads USC with a scoring average of 12.9 points in the first nine games. He also leads USC in assists (49), steals (15) and free throws made/attempted (30/44) and is second on the team in three-pointers made (14). USC's freshman class of McLaughlin, Malik Martin, Elijah Stewart and Malik Marquetti has scored 34.7 percent of the Trojans' points this season (209 of 602). When you add in redshirt sophomores Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark who are playing their first season for the Trojans, 62.0 percent (325 of 602) of USC's points are from newcomers.
PERHAPS THAT IS TOO CLOSE -- USC guard Katin Reinhardt is hitting his stride from three-point range, but has had less success in two-point shots through the first nine games. Reinhardt is 16-for-42 from three-point range (38.1 percent) and 12-for-51 from two-point range (23.5 percent). In the last six games, Reinhardt has made 13 of 31 his three-point attempts (41.9 percent).
For tickets to any USC home basketball game, visit www.gettrojantix.com.