Capsule Preview: Oregon State at USC

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES has already decreed the OSU-USC game not one worth playing, with their Trojan blog calling it the "Last Gimme' of the Season" and wondering if the Beavers will be able to score 40 points. And that's just one of the storylines that will play out when the Beavers meet USC Saturday night in a televised matchup.

The records: Oregon State (6-20) at USC (16-9)

Last time: USC won 68-44 on Jan. 24.

At stake: The Beavers need a victory to halt a Pac-10 slide that has reached epic proportions. The Beavs are 0-14 in league play and no Pac-10 team has ever gone 0-18 since the Arizona schools joined the league in 1978. USC is seemingly in good shape for the NCAA Tourney, standing in fourth place with at 7-6 league record. But 1.5 games separate Nos. 4-9 and any misstep down the final stretch could be decisive.

Noteworthy: Speaking of the Arizona schools, it was last year the Trojans suffered a 68-58 defeat that gave the Sun Devils their first Pac-10 victory after 14 consecutive losses to open conference play. The Beavs, however, have given little indication of late as ASU had that they're close to breaking through into the win column, losing their last two by 36.5 points.

Media watch: Marcel Jones and Sean Carter, suspended for the UCLA game because of an undisclosed violation of team rules, return to action against USC. Jones said his actions prior to the UW game have been misreported by various media outlets. Jones told the Oregonian on Friday that neither he nor Carter challenged any Huskies player to a fight. Jones also said he did not leave any voice mails confronting Huskies players.

The Series: USC leads 63-55 and has won the last six in a row

Notes: Sophomore Seth Tarver leads Oregon State with 10.9 points per game...O.J. Mayo paces USC at 20.0 points per game..Mayo scored 32 points en route to a 81-75 victory over Oregon on Thursday.

TV: FSN, 5 pm PT
Radio: Beaver Sports Radio Network

The line: USC by 17.

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