Trojans Dominate Southern Illinois, 70-45

OJ Mayo and Taj Gibson started the game on the bench but that didn't stop the Trojans from beating no.19 Southern Illinois 70-45 in the final of the Anaheim Classic.

The Trojans had their most impressive performance of the early season Sunday night, routing the Southern Illinois Salukis 70-45 in the championship game of the Anaheim Classic.

USC got off to a slow start with starters Taj Gibson and OJ Mayo beginning the game on the bench.

"We had some other players we wanted to look at early. I felt like I need to get some of these other kids' confidence because we are going to need them in big situations," said Tim Floyd.

With the pair watching from the bench the Salukis pulled out to an early lead. When Gibson and Mayo entered the game with 13:36 left to play in the first half, they had an immediate impact. But it was the play of Davon Jefferson that was the story of the night.

The Trojans went on a 14-2 run behind the play of OJ Mayo and Davon Jefferson and ended the first half with a 35-23 lead.

In the second half the Trojans dominated the Salukis with stifling defense and outstanding perimeter shooting. The Trojans shoot an impressive 59.5 percent from the field and limited the Salukis to 32 percent shooting.

Davon Jefferson and Dwight Lewis were the top performers on the night. Dwight Lewis got hot from the perimeter and finished with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

Freshman forward Davon Jefferson came off the bench and had a break out performance for the Trojans. Jefferson scored a game-high 20 points on several highlight reel dunks and made 8-of-11 free throws. The ultra-athletic Jefferson used his quickness to beat his defender off the dribble on several occasions.

Sunday night's victory was the Trojans' first against a ranked opponent and most impressive win of the early season. With the win USC has now won five straight games after their season opening loss to Mercer.

USC's sensational freshman OJ Mayo was named the tournaments Most Outstanding Player. In three games Mayo averaged 18 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists and led USC to the championship of the Anaheim Classic.

The Trojans have a tough stretch of games ahead facing Big 12 foes Oklahoma and no. 4 Kansas this week at the Galen Center, before traveling to New York to play the third-ranked Memphis Tigers on Dec. 4th.


USCFootball.com Top Stories