USC Basketball vs. North Dakota St score, summary: Trojans survive a scare

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /

USC Basketball survived a scare from North Dakota St. on Monday night, riding Bennie Boatwright’s career-high 28 points to a 75-65 victory.

The lowdown: USC’s offense was ice cold to start, missing their first six shots from the field while allowing North Dakota St. to take a 8-4 lead in the first four minutes.

Bennie Boatwright went up-and-under for a layup, sparking a Trojan run to erase the deficit. However, the difficult shooting night continued.

Elijah Stewart knocked down a three-pointer then hit two foul shots after USC forced a 10-second violation for the second-consecutive game, putting the Trojans back in the lead, 17-15.

That lead was short-lived as Paul Miller hit a three-pointer.

Stewart almost brought the Galen Center to life with a put-back dunk on a missed triple, but he whiffed on the jam.

Things only got worse for USC as NDSU hit three-straight three-pointers. The Bison jumped out to a 29-19 lead before Chimezie Metu stopped the bleeding with a hook shot.

The Trojans used the final minute of the half to storm back to tie the game at 33 points. Jordan McLaughlin hit a floater and Boatwright tossed in a shot under the basket to close the gap, before Stewart stole the ball and dished it to McLaughlin on the fastbreak for a layup just beating the buzzer.

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USC opened the second half with some more emphatic offense as Metu threw down twice, including an alley-oop delivered by Boatwright. However, the Bison hit back-to-back triples to wrestle back a lead at 43-41.

Boatwright put the Trojans on his back to restore the advantage to the home side, driving for a score then hitting a jumper.

NDSU’s strong shooting from distance kept the Bison in control, however, led by Cameron Hunter’s 19 points.

With nine minutes remaining, USC trailed by five points, but Jonah Mathews came alive. He knocked down back-to-back shots, one from distance, to close the gap in short order at 56.

As the minutes ticked down, things finally turned for the Trojans.

McLaughlin hit consecutive baskets, Metu hooked in a shot and Boatwright slammed home on a fastbreak as USC took a commanding 70-60 lead.

The Bison responded quickly though, with a driving score and a three-pointer.

With time on their side, USC closed out the game at the free throw line and on the defensive end, getting out with the 75-65 win.

By the numbers:

  • USC was a 25-point favorite over NDSU, but pulled out a 10-point win.
  • The Trojans closed the first half with a 12-2 run to tie the game.
  • Though they went to charity stripe 31 times, USC only hit 17 free throws at a clip of 54. 8 percent.
  • North Dakota St. attempted 29 three-pointers and hit 10 for a 34.5 percent rate from distance.
  • USC had four shooters in double-digits: Boatwright with 28, Metu with 14, McLaughlin with 12, Stewart with 10.
  • Boatwright managed his 28 points with just one three-point basket.
  • USC forced 19 turnovers and blocked six shots.


Player of the game: Bennie Boatwright, who had 28 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Next on tap: The Trojans will travel to Nashville for their first road game of the season against Vanderbilt on Sunday, November 19 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific.