Mayo Score 29, Gibson is a Force in Limited Minutes
In a game that saw Taj Gibson relegated to the pine for 30 minutes because of three quick fouls, the Trojans (15-7, 6-4) come together to play a solid game and dispose of the Huskies. Gibson was forced to the bench at 12:25 in the first half and sat on the bench for that whole time period.
With the 73-59 victory, USC is now 6-4 in the Pac-10 and turned in their 4th road win in a row. The Trojans lead the PAC-10 in field goal defense, limiting opponents to 38% field goal shooting. Washington was 36% from the field.
O.J. Mayo played one of his best all-around games, scoring 29 points on 11-22 field goal shooting. He also had four steals, three rebounds and was three for seven from three point range. Davon Jefferson had 17 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots. In very limited 24 minutes, Taj Gibson added eight points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
Angelo Johnson played well directing the team, taking the point as Daniel Hackett continues to recover from injury. RouSean Cromwell put in a well-appreciated 19 minutes of play, and would help this Trojan squad if he can continue to contribute meaningful minutes.
A game of runs: USC started the game with an18-2 run. This was countered with a14-4 Washington run. The game was put on ice with 19-0 early in the second half by the Trojans.
A Bright Spot on the Floor
A bright spot in the in the line-up was Daniel Hackett. In 27 minutes Hackett showed little affect of his hip-pointer injury. He did fall on the floor in the second half and looked hobbled for a minute and also fell once in what looked like a tweaked ankle. Even in his recovery mode, Hackett was able to pull down six rebounds and dole out four assists.
Coach Tim Floyd reached a milestone, recording his 300th collegiate victory. When asked of the significance of his 300th victory, Floyd replied, "I don't consider 300 a milestone when the standard is 903 wins." Floyd's philosophy on team play and defensive schemes has the Trojans poised for post-season play. After stuttering to an 0-3 start in the Pac-10, the Trojans have since gone 6-1. A big test for Floyd's squad will come this Saturday in Pullman when USC takes on Washington State.
Hold the Mayo
O.J. Mayo had one of the best all-around games in his young collegiate career. Shooting 50% from the field, Mayo was 11-22 for 29 points. In the second half, Mayo put an exclamation point on a Trojan 19-0 run with a three point shot. He later drove the court on a fast-break, culminating with a behind-the-back crossover for a two-point lay-up.
When asked how many points he had for the game, Mayo replied, "We won." Throughout the season he consistently has emphasized team play to both teammates and reporters.
Talking about the Trojans Mayo said, "Today in walk-through, we said ‘this is new season.' We did well before; I think we can get better. I think we can play better. When we go on the road we come together. We want to play team ball."
About Gibson's early foul trouble, Mayo said, "Getting Taj back into the game, he took a lot of pressure off the guards. Finally, Mayo commented, "We're trying to get better as a team."
Speaking about Mayo's play, Coach Floyd commented, "O.J. was special tonight."
About the team, Floyd said, "We're growing as a team. We've been pretty good team on the road." On upcoming game against Washington state, Floyd added, "They don't get beat very much in Pullman."