USC Basketball vs. Oregon Score, Summary: Trojans snap losing streak

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images /

USC Basketball notched a long-awaited victory over the Oregon Ducks on Thursday night, 75-70, snapping a 14-game losing streak.

The lowdown:

Chimezie Metu and Bennie Boatwright each posted 18 points while Jordan McLaughlin showed leadership down the stretch as USC Basketball exorcised nearly a decade of demons against Oregon.

USC couldn’t have started colder, missing their first eight shots. Yet they only trailed 4-0 in the opening minutes as Oregon’s offense was only marginally better.

The turnaround from there was quick. Boatwright sparked the offense with seven early points as the Trojans stormed ahead with a 14-0 run, taking a 16-6 lead.

Contributions from all over the floor helped USC maintain their lead as the first half wore on. However, the Ducks wouldn’t go away, clawing back to within four points with four minutes to play at 29-25.

When Metu fouled Mikyle McIntosh on a three-point attempt with under two minutes left, Oregon drew within just one possession. Payton Pritchard’s triple at the one-minute mark brought it to one point as the half ended with USC ahead 36-35.

McIntosh opened the second half by giving the Ducks their first lead since the opening minutes on a driving three-point play.

Back-to-back turnovers coming out of timeout saw assistant coach Jason Hart lay into the Trojans on the sideline before yet another turnover helped Oregon jump ahead 49-45.

USC responded to the rough stretch by posting a 7-0 run sparked by a Boatwright three.

A four-minute field goal drought for both squads didn’t stop the Ducks from taking back control from the free throw line as the Trojans trailed 58-57 at the eight minute mark.

An emphatic Metu dunk coming out of the media time out put the Trojans back on top, but the back-and-forth action, including 11 lead changes in the second half, favored Oregon, up 65-61 with five minutes left.

After free throws cut the deficit, Metu grabbed the lead back under the rim at 66-65 before an Elijah Brown three-pointer restored the advantage to the Ducks. Metu’s layup tied it back up 68 all with the clock ticking under two minutes.

Jonah Mathews was fouled on a rebound attempt and missed his first free throw, but hit the second to give USC the slimmest of leads. Then a Pritchard miss on the other end opened the door for Jordan McLaughlin to drive to the basket. Initially the refs called a defensive foul, but reversed the call to a charge on replay because the defender was not in the restricted area—ignoring how he appeared not set at the contact.

The Ducks didn’t take advantage of the strange call though. McIntosh slipped under the basket and turned the ball over, forcing Oregon to foul McLaughlin, who hit his foul shots to put USC ahead 73-70 with 22 seconds remaining.

By the numbers:

  • USC snapped a 14-game losing streak to Oregon going back to 2009.
  • Oregon came into the game 11-1 when winning the rebound battle. The Trojans outrebounded the Ducks 36-26.
  • USC’s offensive rebounding was a difference maker, winning that column 13-4.
  • USC shot just 76 percent from the free throw line, but down the stretch six free throws from McLaughling and one from Mathews closed out the win.
  • There were 15 lead changes across the course of the game.
  • Four Trojans finished with double digit scoring: Metu, McLaughlin, Boatwright and Mathews.
  • Elijah Stewart was 0-for-5 from the field on a rough shooting night.
  • Shaqquan Aaron got the start and produced some bright moments on offense, but committed five turnovers and saw his minutes dwindle late.
  • Oregon’s Pritchard led the Ducks with 18 points and seven rebounds, but committed three turnovers.

Player of the game: Jordan McLaughlin, who closed out the game from the line and led the Trojans with nine rebounds and seven assists.

Next on tap: USC will stay up north to battle Oregon State on Saturday night at 5:00 p.m.