USC Beats TCU 83-59

The Trojans' snapped a three-game losing skid in dominant fashion, beating the TCU Horned Frogs 83-59 as three USC players scored in double digits.

Many feared for the Trojan men basketball team's future after losing three straight in December, including two at home. But in a dominant 83-59 win Monday against non-conference opponent TCU (7-4), USC (5-7) proved it wasn't out for the count.

"The guys are getting more used to playing with each other," head coach Kevin O'Neill said. "If shots go in, it always makes things look better."

This group of Trojans' typically runs its offense through starting point guard Maurice Jones, who leads the country in minutes played per game. And while Jones was scorching hot against the Horned Frogs, racking a team-high 25 points and seven assists, USC wasn't beholden to one.

"If you look at the games we win, I hate to say that, [Jones] gets 24, 25 [points], O'Neill said. "But he got some help from other guys.

Two guys who've made a huge difference in the offense are Byron [Wesley] and Alexis [Moore]. Both are playing more aggressively. Dewayne [Dedmon] got the ball in traffic and finished."

Against TCU, the Trojans –who shot 50.9 percent -- had four scorers log double digits in Jones, Moore, Wesley and Dedmon.

O'Neill attributes practice as the reason for the rise in offensive production. Dedmon and James Blascyzk, in addition to a couple others, haven't been able to practice consistently due to injuries.

"Guys started playing with a little more force offensively," O'Neill said. "[TCU] had quality wins coming in. We're getting better because finally some of our guys can practice," he said.

Prior to Monday's game USC had not been a skilled three-point shooting team. That team was nowhere to be found in the Galen Center as Trojan after Trojan drilled balls from the perimeter, knocking down 5 of 11 in the first half.

As for its defense, a glaring statistic proves the defensive-minded O'Neill's bread and butter was perfectly spread:

The Trojans committed just five turnovers. The Horned Frogs had 20.

"Our defense didn't betray us like it did the other night," O'Neill said.

With 10 seconds on the clock, USC fans got on their feet to applaud the typically- inconsistent Trojans who have consistently fallen to teams in nailbiter losses. But there was ample time on the clock to relish this win as O'Neill took his starters out with a little over two minutes to play.

"We started off hard and came out with force," Wesley said. "We all made plays. When we get guys moving, we get good shots."

Despite losing to teams like Cal Poly or the University of New Mexico, Wesley believes his Trojans can use Monday's assertive win in its upcoming battle against the Kansas Jayhawks.

"This gives us all the momentum. We've lost so many close games. We need this win against Kansas," he said.

USC will cap off its four-game homestand against the Jayhawks on Dec. 22. at 8:00 p.m. Top Stories