USC vs. Xavier Score & Summary: Trojans Drop First Game


Black Friday’s USC vs. Xavier second round game in the AdvoCare Invitational saw the Trojans lose their first game of the season, 87-77.

The lowdown: From the tip-off, Friday afternoon’s game was all Musketeers. After Bennie Boatwright opened the scoring for the Trojans with a triple just 45 seconds in, No. 23 Xavier went on a 17-0 run and never looked back. Trevon Bluiett had 11 points in the first half alone, as the Musketeers roared out to a 54-27 lead at the half, in part to sloppy play from the Trojans. Of USC’s 12 turnovers, nine took place in the first half, which paved the way for Xavier to pour it on early.

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The second half started with much of the same, with Xavier starting on a 7-2 run to give them their biggest lead of the game at 61-29. From that point on though, the Trojans would come alive and respectively make the game interesting late, though they never quite got within reach.

USC outscored Xavier 48-26 in the final 17:30 of the game, as Nikola Jovanovic started to heat up. He and Julian Jacobs finished with a team-high 15 points apiece, with Katin Reinhardt chipping in 13 off the bench.

The takeaway: Xavier really took it to USC at times, leading by as many as 32 points. But the takeaway is –and this seems rudimentary– when the Trojans are playing fundamentally sound basketball and not turning the ball over, they have the ability to play at a high level. USC had just three turnovers in the second half and had enough in the tank to mount a comeback attempt to make it a respectable loss to the N0. 23 team in the country.

They started getting the shooters involved, hit the boards and nearly got within earshot of the lead. Malik Marquetti cut the Xavier lead to 13 points with five minutes to play, and Reinhardt couldn’t get a three-pointer to fall moments later. Had it gone, USC would have been on a 17-3 run and trailing by just 10. Xavier responded to the miss with six straight points which essentially sealed the game for the Musketeers.

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Player of the game: Not only did Julian Jacobs have 15 points for the Trojans, he was 2 of 3 from three-point range and led USC with six assists. In fact, he had more than half of all of the assists on the team.

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Stat of the game: According to Jacob Freedman, formerly of Galen Central, today marked the first time since 2008 that the Trojans have scored at least 70 points in eight straight games.

Next on tap: After suffering their first loss of the year, the Trojans will look to rebound in their final game of the AdvoCare Invitational on Sunday in the third place game, against the loser of today’s Dayton vs. Monmouth matchup. USC just beat Monmouth last week at the Galen Center, 101-90.