Andy Enfield’s USC Trojans got off to a rough start in the Bahamas with a controversial incident with Tim Floyd last night, and it wasn’t improved upon on Thanksgiving Day. The Trojans were outclassed by Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats in the opening game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, losing 93-79.
The 93 points for Villanova set a Battle 4 Atlantis record for the most points, partly a testament to their high-flying offense and USC’s lack of defensive intensity.
Nova got out to an 11-2 run right out of the gate, and never looked back, leading wire-to-wire. The Trojans cut the Wildcats’ lead to just one point late in the first half at 27-26, but Villanova closed the half on a 21-11 spurt to re-claim control.
The Wildcats had five players in double digits and were lights out from the field, making 11 three-pointers on the afternoon. Guard James Bell led Nova in scoring with 17 points, while Dylan Ennis chipped in 13 points off the bench.
For the Trojans, it was the Pe’Shon Howard show. The Maryland transfer had his best game of the season to date, scoring 23 points, and going 4-of-7 from distance.
Junior swingman Byron Wesley registered his second double-double on the young season. With a 15-point performance against Nova, Wesley is now averaging 19 points per game, through six games.
In the paint, senior center Omar Oraby struggled mightily. The Egyptian big man had just five points and five rebounds. He struggled in foul trouble throughout.
The loss runs USC’s record to 4-2, with both losses being against the only two quality opponents the Trojans have played thus far. Enfield’s bunch now enter the losers’ bracket of the tournament and will meet the loser of today’s Kansas vs. Wake Forest game, tomorrow afternoon.