USC Heading East To Face Boston College|
Dec. 17, 2014
The USC Trojans (6-4) will play the Boston College Eagles (6-3) at the Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass. on Dec. 21 at 1:00 p.m. (PT). The game will air on ESPNU and be carried on AM 690. USC had its four-game winning streak snapped in it last game and missed out on winning five consecutive games for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
TROJANS TAKE TRIP TO BC -- BC is 6-3 this season and a perfect 5-0 at home after winning its last game 63-49 vs. Binghamton on Dec. 14. BC has won its last four games by an average of 13 points per game, its first four-game winning streak since the 2012-13 season. Junior guard Olivier Hanlon leads BC in scoring with a 16.1 average and graduate transfer wing Aaron Brown has a 15.2 scoring 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. USC lost 37-31 at Boston College in football on Sept. 13.
USC SURRENDERS LATE LEAD, FALLS IN OT TO ARMY -- After a frantic late rally to force overtime, Army hit a pair of three-pointers to open overtime and went on to an 85-77 victory over USC on Dec. 13, snapping the Trojans' four-game winning streak. Army led 36-33 at halftime, but USC scored the first 14 points after the break to take an 11-point lead. USC led by 5-9 points most of the second half until a three-pointer by Larry Toomey cut the lead to 65-63 with 1:14 left in regulation. Jordan McLaughlin then missed a jumper and Strahinja Gavrilovic came up empty on the follow up, setting the stage for Kyle Wilson to tie it at 65-all with 24 seconds left. Nikola Jovanovic's jumper in the lane at the buzzer rimmed out forcing overtime. Toomey and Wilson then hit back-to-back three-pointers in the first minute of overtime and USC got no closer than four points in the extra frame. Wilson, the nation's 9th-leading scorer entering the game, scored 30 points, 26 in the second half and overtime. McLaughlin led USC with a new career-best of 24 points. Jovanovic had his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Both teams struggled from beyond the arc with Army going 7-for-32 (21.9 percent) and USC going 4-for-19 (21.1 percent). It was Army's first win against a Pac-12 team since 1964. It was the first meeting between the teams.
VERMONT CLOSES OUT NONCONFERENCE SLATE -- USC's next game will be at home vs. Vermont (5-4, plus vs. Yale on Dec. 18 and at St. Louis on Dec. 21 before facing USC). The Catamounts have averaged 70 points per game, led by senior forward Harold Hector's 11.4 average per game. Vermont was 22-11 last season and won the America East regular season title, but returned only five lettermen and one starter from that squad. This is the first meeting in basketball between Vermont and USC.
SCORING IS SOARING -- USC has scored 77 or more points in three consecutive games for the first time since 2003 when it lost 83-92 vs. UNLV on Dec. 3, won 84-83 vs. Saint Mary's on Dec. 6 and won 96-90 vs. CS Fullerton on Dec. 9...all three games were decided in overtime. USC has averaged 81.0 points in its last three games, after averaging 62.3 points per game in the first seven contests.
J-MAC ON THE ATTACK -- Freshman point guard Jordan McLaughlin has averaged 21.0 points in the last three games (63 total) and leads USC this season with a 14.0 scoring average. He also has 17 assists, 11 rebounds and four steals in the three games, while making nine three-pointers.
JOVANOVIC SURGING, TOO -- Sophomore forward Nikola Jovanovic has scored in double figures the last five games. In the five games he has three double-doubles and averaged 14.4 points (72 total) and 10.8 rebounds (54 total).
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED -- USC has won its last two nonconference road games, at Dayton on Dec. 22, 2013 (79-76 in OT) and at New Mexico on Nov. 30, 2014 (66-54). The last time USC won consecutive nonconference road games was when it won its first two of the 2007-08 season, at The Citadel on Nov. 15, 2007 (74-47) and at South Carolina on Nov. 17, 2007 (85-75). The last time USC won three or more consecutive nonconference road games was in 2001 when it won four straight at Bradley (60-50) on Dec. 1, at Long Beach State (86-68) on Dec. 12, at San Diego (76-67 in OT) on Dec. 20 and at LMU (81-67) on Dec. 22. The Trojans are trying to win consecutive road games (conference or nonconference) for the first time since Jan. 30, 2013 at UCLA (75-71 in OT) and Feb. 14, 2013 at Stanford (65-64).
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS -- USC has held six of 10 opponents this season to 40 percent shooting or less, for a combined 39.6 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 14.0 points in the first 10 games. He also leads USC in assists (54), steals (16) and free throws made/attempted (36/55) and is tied for the team lead in three-pointers made (16). USC's freshman class of McLaughlin, Malik Martin, Elijah Stewart and Malik Marquetti has scored 36.7 percent of the Trojans' points this season (249 of 679). When you add in redshirt sophomores Katin Reinhardt and Darion Clark who are playing their first season for the Trojans, 63.9 percent (325 of 679) of USC's points are from newcomers.
STRUGGLES FROM THE LINE CONTINUE -- USC was 15-for-28 (.536) from the free throw line in the overtime loss to Army on Dec. 13. USC has made only 57.1 percent of its free throws in the last five games (60-for-105). USC is shooting 60.9 percent from the free throw line this season and has only topped 70 percent in one of its first 10 games (70.6 percent vs. Tennessee Tech on Nov. 17.
TURNOVERS ARE HARD TO RESIST -- USC had 14 turnovers in the loss to Army, its most in a game since Nov. 20 vs. Akron. USC fell to 1-3 this season when committing 14 or more turnovers. Still, USC has averaged 11.4 turnovers the past seven games (80 total), after averaging 18.7 in the first three games of the season (56 total). USC has also forced 14.7 turnovers by its opponent in the last seven games (103 total), after generating only 10.7 in the first three games.