USC Hosts UC Riverside Saturday As Part Of Doubleheader With Women's Team|
Dec. 13, 2012
USC (3-6) will host UC Riverside (2-7) at the Galen Center on Dec. 15 at 4:00 p.m. The game is part of a doubleheader as the USC women's team will be hosting No. 23 Texas A&M in a noon game. Between the two games, there will be a Meet & Greet with Disney's Caroline Sunshine from "Shake it Up", along with music from Radio Disney, as well as games and prizes! USC is in a stretch of playing six out of seven games at home (0-1), after playing at the Galen Center once in the previous six games. USC is 2-2 at home this season.
BREAKING DOWN THE HIGHLANDERS -- USC defeated UCR 56-35 at Riverside on Nov. 30 last season, USC's last road win. USC leads the all-time series with the Highlanders, 5-0. Junior forward Chris Harriel (11.4) and freshman forward Josh Fox (10.0) lead UCR in scoring.
TROJANS DIG HOLE THEY CAN'T GET OUT OF VS. No. 14 MINNESOTA -- USC fell behind 9-0 three minutes into the game and could never catch up in a 71-57 home loss vs. Minnesota on Dec. 8. USC trailed by 12 at the half and got no closer than nine points in the second half. After Minnesota hit four of its first five shots to open up the lead, USC's defense tightened and held the Golden Gophers to 38.0 percent shooting the rest of the game. USC was unable to catch up as they matched a season high with 17 turnovers, went 1-for-11 from three-point range and 10-for-18 from the free throw line. Omar Oraby led USC with 15 points, all coming in the second half.
UC IRVINE ON DECK -- USC will host UC Irvine on Dec. 20 at 8:00 p.m. The Anteaters are 4-6 this season and will play at Fresno State on Dec. 15 and host LSU on Dec. 18 before facing USC. UCI lost 80-79 in overtime at UCLA on Nov. 13. Senior guard Daman Starring has led UCI in scoring with a 13. 4 average in the first 10 games. USC leads the all-time series, 6-1, winning six in a row, including a 62-49 victory the last time the two teams met on Nov. 13, 2010.
TALK ABOUT A STRONG SCHEDULE... -- USC's schedule is one of the toughest in the country, currently ranked No. 7 by CBSSportsline, and the Trojans just completed one of the hardest stretches. In the seven-game stretch which began vs. Illinois on Nov. 19 in Maui and ended Dec. 8 vs. Minnesota, USC played four teams that are currently ranked in the top 20 (No. 10 Illinois, No. 18 San Diego State, No. 17 New Mexico and No. 13 Minnesota) and the seven teams have a composite record of 55-10. Only two of the seven games in that stretch were at home.
RAINING THREES IN THE SIX LOSSES -- In USC's six losses this season, the opposition has made 52 of 114 three-pointers for a 45.6 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. In the last four games, all losses, USC allowed San Diego State to make 7 of 15, Nebraska to make 11 of 17, New Mexico to make 11 of 24 and Minnesota to make 6 of 19 three-pointers for a total of 35 out of 75 (46.7 percent).
TOUGH TEAMS TO BEAT -- The combined record of the six teams USC has lost to this season is 50-6, with two teams being undefeated and two others having just one loss. Four of the six losses have come against teams currently ranked within the top 18 in the country.
SHOOTING COMING AROUND -- USC has struggled shooting the ball this season making 41.6 percent of its shots, but showed signs of coming out of its slump by making 45 percent in the second half at Nebraska, then 52.9 percent in the game at New Mexico and 42.6 percent vs. Minnesota. In the last five halves of basketball, USC has made 47.2 percent of its shots (59-for-125). In the four full games prior to the UNM game, USC had a combined 36.1 shooting percentage (84-for-233) after making 45.6 percent of its shots in the first three games (77-for-169).
FUNNY MATH... -- USC has made seven more field goals that its opponents this season, yet has been outscored by 40 points. USC's opponents have made 70 three-pointers to the Trojans' 40 and have made 24 more free throws.
TROJANS AGAIN PROTECTING THE BALL -- USC ranks third in the conference in turnover ratio at +1.7, committing 13.3 turnovers per game while forcing the opposition into 15.0 per game. However, USC has committed 46 turnovers in the last three games. Last season, as a young team playing with no senior scholarship players and just three scholarship players who had played in the USC system before, USC committed just 10.7 turnovers per game, 13th-best in the country. USC was tops in the Pac-12 with a +4.38 turnover margin. USC committed 140 less turnovers than its opponents in the 2011-12 season and has 15 less through the first nine games this season.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY... -- Center James Blasczyk has not shot the ball often this season, but when he has, he has been deadly accurate. His only miss this season was a jumper from the side at Nebraska. Blasczyk has made 6 of 7 field goals this season for a .857 shooting percentage.
THE INSIDE JOB -- Center Omar Oraby was 7-for-9 and scored 15 points vs. Minnesota on Dec. 8, with all of his points coming from inside the paint in the second half of the game. Oraby has made 60.5 percent (26-for-43) of his shots this season and has averaged 6.9 points while playing 13.7 minutes per game.