USC Basketball played an awful basketball game on Sunday afternoon; losing to the Washington State Cougars by a score of 81-71. The reason this one went down the way it did is actually rather simple: They couldn't hit from three, and they couldn't stop the three. SC went just three of 18 from deep.
Drew Peterson was two for five from back there, and Kobe Johnson hit his lone three, but that was it. Nobody else made one at all. Not even Boogie Ellis or Reese Dixon-Waters, who each took four three-point shots. Not only that, but the Trojans couldn't defend the perimeter at all themselves--allowing 14 of 29 Cougar triples to drop.
Wazzu is a bad basketball team. They were 5-9 heading into this game, and 0-3 in-conference. USC was 11-3, and 3-0 in-conference coming into this game. They had a chance to make a statement to the Pac-12 in extending their winning streak to eight games. They failed to do so, and are now just 11-4 on the year and 3-1 in the Pac-12.
For Washington State, Andrej Jakimovski went two of four from three-point range. DJ Rodman went three of six. Justin Powell went four of seven, and Jabe Mullins even went four of six off the bench. It was both the guards and the forwards draining everything from downtown for the Cougs. They put on a show, and USC was lost as a result.
Only three USC Basketball players played well for the Trojans on Sunday.
Those three USC Basketball players were Drew Peterson, Kobe Johnson, and Boogie Ellis. To make matters worse, Ellis fouled out late in the contest--which all but sealed the loss. Ellis had 12 points on the day with seven rebounds, a steal, and a block. Peterson was strong all around; scoring 16 points on seven of 16 shooting, with eight rebounds to go along with a block and two steals.
Johnson hit three of five shots, and six of his seven free throws. He had seven boards, three assists, a steal, and 13 points. This team is really struggling with a lack of big man production.
That needs to change quickly, regardless of if five-star freshman center Vince Iwuchukwu returns to the floor or not. It's only going to get tougher with SC going to Westwood to play their crosstown rivals in their next game (Thursday).