Report and Photos Trojans Defeat Highlanders 70-57
For the ninth straight game, USC limits opponent to 58 points or less. While the 2007-2008 Trojan Basketball team has show flashes of offensive power, it is their defense that has impressed thus far. The Trojans held the Highlanders to 57 points on 32.8% field goal shooting.
Coach Floyd complimented the Highlanders' coach saying, "They are a very well-coached team, they outplayed us coming in…that's what well coached teams do, they can shoot 34-35% and be in games."
O.J. Mayo led the Trojans with 20 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Taj Gibson and Daniel Hackett added 13 points. Gibson also had six rebounds and four blocked shots, while Hackett contributed five rebounds and three assists. Mayo attributed the slow-start for the Trojans to the play of the Highlanders, "I think they were well prepared, they came out and played tremendous basketball. Sometimes you have to come from behind to win."
The Trojans did not impress this evening, as they struggled to a halftime 34-34 tie. At times in the first half, USC looked sluggish, falling behind by as many as 14 points. USC won the game in the second half, outscoring Riverside by 13 points.
Looking toward Pac-10 play, Daniel Hackett said, "We're looking to go out there and play our game, Cal is a good team, they're solid, it will be a tough game for us. We'll try to get a split on the road, you always try to get a split." About opening Pac-10 play, Mayo added, "I feel good (about opening the Pac-10 season), I don't think we played our best basketball tonight, but as a team, we're all on the same page, and have a common goal to win."
Next up for USC, California Bears at Berkeley, Wednesday, January 3, 7:30 p.m. PST.
USC TROJANS vs. UC RIVERSIDE HIGHLANDERS PHOTO GALLERY
Photos by Jaime Rodriguez