USC Basketball's home opener against Florida Gulf Coast went about as horrific as it could have. SC was of course heavy favorites against Head Coach Andy Enfield's former team, but came out on the losing side, and by quite a few points as well. They lost by a score of 74-61, and the leadership from the Trojans' dominant backcourt duo (Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis) really wasn't there.
Peterson went just two for six and missed all three of his three-point attempts. He missed three of seven free throws, and scored just seven points on the night. His nine rebounds and six assists were nice, but he wasn't there to score, and he needed to be.
Ellis was much better, nailing three of his six triples and six of his seven free throws for 19 points. That being said, he still shot just 5 of 13, and only had three assists. He played good defense, though, picking up two steals. Perhaps he could carry that into SC's next game against Alabama State, and help lead the Trojans to the dominant victory they should have had against Florida Gulf Coast.
Sure enough, that's how it went down on Thursday. Ellis already had two steals in the opener, but even upped that all the way to SEVEN in the second game of the year. It was a big part of why the Trojans only surrendered 58 points to Alabama State. Peterson's two blocks helped out too, as both played strong defense.
Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson were also impressive on the offensive end for USC Basketball.
Boogie Ellis had 15 points in USC Basketball's win, and Drew Peterson had 21. Ellis shot 6-10 from the field and two of four from three. Peterson hit seven of nine field goal attempts and made three of his five three-point attempts. Ellis made one of his two free throws, and Peterson got back on track from the stripe; making all four of his.
Peterson had six assists, and Ellis had four. Peterson also had six rebounds, and Ellis had four himself. The Trojans scored 96(!) points in that contest. It was exactly the type of bounce-back the team was looking for. After the FGCU debacle, it was unclear how many wins SC would be able to put together before they start playing conference games.
Now, USC will absolutely be favored heavily in their next two contests against Vermont and Mount St. Mary. If they continue to play like how they did on Thursday, they can easily beat BYU as well to advance to 4-1 on the season before they play their first PAC-12 game against California on November 30th.