USC Basketball vs. CS Fullerton score, summary: Trojans romp in opener

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images /

USC Basketball opened the 2017-18 season in style at the Galen Center, battering CS Fullerton, 84-42, in a dominant performance.

The lowdown: The 2017-18 season opened with a Bennie Boatwright three-pointer. And an Elijah Stewart three-pointer as the Trojans grabbed an 8-2 lead in the opening five minutes.

USC’s defensive efforts also impressed early, as Stewart denied Kyle Allman at the rim and later Chimezie Metu stretched at the three-point line to stop an attempt.

Duke transfer Derryck Thornton, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, made his first contribution early, sinking a triple to make it 18-7.

The Trojans also gave debuts to freshmen Jordan Usher and Charles O’Bannon Jr., showing off their depth even without sophomore guard De’Anthony Melton, who sat out due to potential NCAA eligibility issues.

With USC shooting 40 percent from the field, Metu knocked down a three to expand the lead to 20 as the final minutes of the first half ticked down.

Then a Jordan McLaughlin floater at the buzzer put USC up 42-15, the 27-point advantage their largest of the evening.

That is, until the second half began and the Trojans only built on their lead as Metu put his stamp on the game.

Metu hit another three-pointer from the top of the arc, then slammed home a two-handed dunk, giving USC a 35-point advantage at 56-21.

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A Nick Rakocevic free throw extended it just a bit more to 36.

CSUF’s Khalil Ahmad earned a cheer from the crowd after dribbling past several defenders and putting in a layup, but the Trojan crowd was more ecstatic when Boatwright knocked down a jumper and Thornton buried a three-pointer in response.

USC continued to romp as Shaqquan Aaron hit a triple of his own before Stewart nabbed a steal and hit a lay up on the fastbreak while being fouled for the and-one, 76-33.

By the four-minute mark, the Trojans cleared the benches, giving freshman Victor Uyaelunmo his first minutes at USC.

By the numbers:

Metu finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double in the season opener. His presence inside and outside shooting were a mouthwatering preview of a potential All-American season.

The Trojans had five scorers in double-digits: Metu with 18, Boatwright with 13, McLaughlin with 12, Jonah Mathews with 11 and Thornton 11 in his Trojan debut.

USC shot 41.2 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. Defensively they also put in work as the Titans managed just 23.3 percent shooting and 10.5 percent from three-point distance.

The Trojans won the rebounding battle 52-44.

USC’s largest lead was 44 points.

With two made free throws, Uyaelunmo became the first freshman from the class of 2017 to score for USC.


Player of the game: Chimezie Metu

Next on tap: The Trojans will be back in action on Monday, November 13 to take on North Dakota State at the Galen Center.