USC Breezes Past OSU Led by Mayo, Jefferson and Gibson
Trojans 12-6 (3-3) cruised past Beavers 6-13 (0-7), to improve its conference record to fifty percent, while keeping OSU to a winless record. USC was led by O.J. Mayo's 19 points, Davon Jefferson's 18 and Taj Gibson's 14 point – 14 rebound effort.
Davon Jefferson has another big night for USC. AP photo - Don Ryan
Jefferson completed his second consecutive impressive outing on 9-12 field goal shooting, he also had seven rebounds and three steals.
USC again played great defense, limiting OSU to 27% field goal shooting. The Trojans lead the Pac-10 in field goal defense.
Davon Jefferson and Taj Gibson got off to quick starts, leading the Trojans to an 18-4 lead on 8 of 15 shooting. It looked like the Trojans were going to run away with the game, but they allowed the Beavers to scratch their way back into the game. The lead was cut to 27-25 at the half.
The Big Three: Taj Gibson, O.J. Mayo and Davon Jefferson are beginning to gel for the Trojans
After the halftime break, USC made a statement by starting off stealing the ball and scoring on a Jefferson fast-break tomahawk dunk. This was immediately followed by another turnover and layup. USC quickly ran the score up to 46-27 to start off the second half and never looked back.
A bright spot for the Trojans which could go unnoticed is Keith Wilkinson's play. Although he only scored three points (on a pass from Mayo), he also had two rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot. The stat of significance is in minutes played. Wilkinson had 16 minutes and was in the lane enough to make his presence known.
Keith Wilkinson and O.J. Mayo defend Josh Carver in the lane. AP photo - Don Ryan
Wilkinson and/or Rousean Cromwell (both are 6'11", 225 lbs) need to find significant minutes in order to relieve Gibson and to add height to the lineup. The Trojans could go deeper into the post season if Gibson gets some help on the inside.
O.J. Mayo drives past Calvin Haynes. AP photo - Don Ryan
Dwight Lewis goes up for two against Josh Tarver and Roeland Schaftenaar. AP photo - Don Ryan