USC basketball got back on its feet after being knocked down by Oregon, taking out their frustration on Stanford at the Galen Center, 72-56.
The lowdown: With USC seeking a bounce-back win after being trounced by Oregon last week, Jordan McLaughlin opened the scoring with a fastbreak layup then long-range three-pointer off the backboard to get the Trojans off to a nice start.
Jonah Mathews added to USC’s lead midway through the first half with two straight steals leading to a lay up and then an emphatic McLaughlin dunk, putting the Trojans ahead,16-8.
Shaqquan Aaron, who started on the bench for the first time this season, knocked down a triple to increase that margin even further.
However, USC did retain a bit of a hangover from the loss to the Ducks, committing six turnovers and letting the Cardinal stay in the game despite missing their best player, Reid Travis.
With three minutes to go, Stanford closed the gap to just one point, but Mathews responded immediately with a corner three and a McLaughlin layup at the buzzer gave the men of Troy a 36-28 advantage.
In the second half, the Trojans exploded back up to a double digit lead thanks to a triple and a fastbreak slam by Elijah Stewart, 45-32.
The two teams traded buckets back and forth but USC maintained a two-digit lead for much of the second half.
More freshman contributions came from De’Anthony Melton who hit back-to-back threes with five minutes remaining to extend the lead to 62-48.
Yet another Mathews triple helped the Trojans command the game even tighter as the final minutes ticked down. It ended, 72-56, moving the Trojans to 15-1.
The takeaway: USC lost their first game of the season to Oregon in embarrassing fashion and needed to prove that they wouldn’t crumble after such a crushing end to their outstanding start.
The win over Stanford put the Trojans back on track. It wasn’t always pretty, featuring 18 USC turnovers, but it did the trick.
McLaughlin continued stepping up as the leader of the team, topping Trojan scorers with 15 points while pitching in five assists.
Meanwhile, Chimezie Metu logged another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Player of the game: Jonah Mathews; 10 points, 4-of-10 FG, 2-of-6 3FG, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, 1 block.
Stat of the game: USC had 27 points off of turnovers.
Next on tap: The Trojans host Cal on Sunday at 7:00 p.m.