The USC Trojans survived a furious comeback from the Cal State Fullerton Titans after leading by 20 at the half to secure their third straight victory, 76-62 at the Galen Center.
Byron Wesley once again led the Trojans in scoring with 22 points while also adding seven rebounds.
Omar Oraby was a presence inside with 15 points, a team-high nine rebounds and six blocks. Julian Jacobs led the team with five assists.
For Fullerton, who was without leading scorer Alex Harris due to an injury, freshman Sheldon Blackwell stepped up with 14 points to lead the Titans. It was Blackwell’s effort in the second half which made much of the difference.
Joe Boyd added ten rebounds in the losing effort.
The Trojans jumped out to a 18-3 lead early on as the Titans looked out of their depth.
The rout looked like it was on with USC entering the half at a comfortable 45-25 lead.
However, the second half was a different story.
Fullerton began the period with a turnover and USC’s Jacobs slammed home an olley-oop for the first points of the half. It was downhill from there.
With the score at 35-57 five minutes in, the Titans slowly moved their way back into contention. They went on a 12-point run to cut the lead to 10 before Wesley hit a free throw to stop the onslaught.
From there it was a back-and-forth game, in which Fullerton wouldn’t go away but USC wouldn’t concede their double-digit lead.
An Oraby dunk with just over three minutes to go put the Trojans back up by 15 and sealed the victory for Troy.