Starting Point Guard Goes Down and So Do the Trojans
At the 18:18 mark in the first half, the USC point guard went down with a possible hip injury and the already depleted Trojans have a hard time staying in the game. Hackett never returned to the game and had to be helped to the locker room at half time. He walked gingerly and in obvious pain after going down early.
For most of the game, the Trojans and Wildcats were stuck in a hotly contested seesaw battle, neither team taking control of the game. With a little more than two minutes left in the game, the Wildcats pulled out to a 10-point lead and never looked back, defeating the Trojans 80-69.
O.J. Mayo Can't Hack it, Either
As is usually the case when the Trojans are dependent on O.J. Mayo, the team falls short. Mayo started off the first half with a hot hand, sinking three of four three-point shots. The team as a whole, continued its torrid shooting, a carry-over from Saturday's game where the Trojans were perfect in the final period.
As the game ended, however, Mayo finished with 9-23 field goal shooting and 3-10 from three-point range. This always spells doom for USC, when the team falls dependent on Mayo's shooting.
Team Honors – The Big Three
In the last four games, different players have led in scoring and that is a testament to their team play. With Hackett's injury USC fell back onto scoring from Davon Jefferson, Taj Gibson and Mayo. This would otherwise be an advantage for the Trojans, but as the game wore on, so did the team. It appeared that the team might have been winded, having an even shorter bench with Hackett out of the game.
For the game, Jefferson was 8-12/19 points with seven rebounds, Taj Gibson 7-9/17 points with five rebounds, and Mayo's 23 points and five assists.
To add insult to injury, Jefferson, Gibson and Mayo all fouled out of the game.
Angelo Johnson celebrates a basket in first half (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Davon Jefferson guarded by Jawann McClellan as he drives to basket (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
O.J. Mayo double teamed by Jordan Hill, left and Chase Budinger, right (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Tim Floyd contests a call in the second half (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Jawann McClellan drives past Taj Gibson (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Jordan Hill shoots over Keith Wilkinson (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Up Next: Saturday vs. Arizona State, Galen Center, 7:30 p.m. PST, FSN Prime Ticket