The USC Trojans may have been facing the Cal State Long Beach 49ers on Thursday night, but it was a former UCLA Bruin that did them in.
In his first game as a 49er, guard Tyler Lamb torched the Trojans for 20 points off the bench. Lamb shot seven of 10 from the field in the first half en route 18 points, but he was then held to just two points in the second half.
After surrendering 50 first half points, the Trojan defense buckled down and managed to hold the 49ers to 22 points in the second half.
Along with their improved defensive effort, the Trojans opened the second half with an 11-2 run to cut their 15-point deficit down to two.
Maintaining their momentum, the Trojans managed to take a 71-70 lead behind a Julian Jacobs steal and layup with just over one minute remaining in the game.
Despite tightening the screws on defense, the Trojans were unable to get a final stop and allowed Mike Caffey to come off a screen and convert the go-ahead layup with 17 seconds remaining.
Without any timeouts available, the Trojans pushed the ball up the court, which resulted in a missed Pe’Shon Howard three-point attempt.
After 49ers guard Branford Jones failed to make the first free throw of his one-and-one situation with just under five seconds remaining in the game, a final three-point heave from Byron Wesley clanked wide left off the backboard.
Following the miss Wesley bent over near midcourt as the final read 72-71 in favor of the 49ers.
For much of the first half it was the 49ers who looked like an Andy Enfield coached team as the 49ers raced to 14 fast break points in the first half.
J.T. Terrell was available to play, but he did not make an appearance, and leading scorer Wesley didn’t start the game, nor the second half.
The loss drops the Trojans to 7-4 on the season and they remain winless away from the Galen Center. The win ended the 49ers nine-game losing streak.