Men’s basketball drops ninth-straight game

first_imgThe USC Trojans (9-15, 1-11 Pac-12) lost their ninth-straight game as they fell to the Oregon Ducks (18-7, 8-4) by a final score of 80-75. The Trojans were led by sophomore guard Julian Jacobs who had a balanced game with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists. The Ducks had a balanced scoring effort but were led by redshirt senior guard Joseph Young who scored 26 points.Redshirt sophomore Darion Clark added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Trojans while sophomore forward Nikola Jovanovic had 11 points and five boards. Redshirt sophomore guard Katin Reinhardt struggled shooting the ball, 4-13 from the field, and only scored nine points for the Trojans. Sophomore guard Kahlil Dukes shined throughout the game as he scored 8 points and junior guard Chass Bryan added 8 points, but it was really Bryan’s energy that kept USC close in the second half.While the losing streak is indeed bad news for the Trojans, they received more bad news during their latest loss as freshman guard Jordan McLaughlin left the game with what appeared to be a left shoulder injury. USC head Coach Andy Enfield addressed the injury after the game.“I didn’t know [about his injury] until he asked to come out of the game,” Enfield said. “He was obviously hurt.”Aside from Young, the Ducks were productive all around. Redshirt junior forward Elgin Cook had 15 points and freshman forward Dillon Brooks also added 15 for the Ducks. Oregon was able to score the ball in transition throughout the night as USC had problems defending the quick tempo of the Ducks. Enfield praised the Oregon players after the loss.“Joseph Young is just a tremendous offensive basketball player,” Enfield said. “Elgin Cook and Dillon Brooks really gave us problems because of their athleticism, size and their skill level.”The Trojans had a chance to tie the game late, but Dukes missed a three and the Trojans were forced to send Oregon to the line, where they put the game out of reach. USC started the second half on a 10-2 run to tie the game; the run was highlighted by a deep three from Jacobs.Jacobs was not only a leader due to his production, he was also extremely vocal on the court, as the captain directed his teammates throughout the second half. Enfield praised his captain for providing leadership for this young team in a contested game.“I thought he really did a good job at attacking the rim, using his athleticism,” Enfield added. “Julian decided to take it upon himself to be aggressive and get in the lane and he was able to finish at the rim. He also had six assists, so I thought he was really really good, especially in the second half.”While Jacobs appeared to more vocal than usual, he said that he still treated it as any other game and tried to lead his team as he does every night.“I just feel like my job is to be aggressive,” Jacobs said. “When I’m not being aggressive, I feel like I’m at a disadvantage and my team is too.”Even though USC was able to keep it close yet again, they have not been able to seal the deal during this losing streak, and Clark voiced his frustrations after the latest loss.“It hurts, we just keep coming close,” Clark said. “We just have to keep fighting, keep playing. We have to understand it’s a process.”The Trojans started the first half looking as if it was going to be a long night, but they were able to keep it close. USC shot 33.3% in the first half but somehow only trailed the sharp-shooting Ducks by 8; Oregon shot 50% in the first half. Jacobs and Jovanovic both had 7 points at halftime to lead the Trojans. The two sophomores each had spurts in the first half that brought some energy to the Galen Center that fed into the effort of the team as a whole.The freshmen duo of forward Malik Marquetti and guard Elijah Stewart continued to struggle off the bench as Marquetti only scored 2 points and Stewart was held scoreless once again.USC will now host the Oregon State Beavers (16-8, 7-5) in their second meeting of the year. The Beavers narrowly beat the Trojans earlier in the year in Oregon by a final score of 59-55. Reinhardt led the Trojans in the loss with 17 points and Jovanovic added 13 points with 6 rebounds. Oregon State was led by junior guard Gary Payton II who had a game high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Payton II is the Beavers’ leading scorer with an average of 12.7 points per game. The game is on Saturday February 14, and tip off is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Galen Center.last_img

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