GAME NOTES: Just two days removed from a thrilling win over UCLA, the Oregon Ducks will try to continue their resurgence as they visit the USC Trojans for a Pac-12 Conference bout at the Galen Center.
It took two overtimes and some heroics from Joseph Young and Mike Moser, but the Ducks were able to knock off UCLA, 87-83, on Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion. It was another critical win for Oregon, which has won four straight to move to 19-8 overall, although it is just 7-8 in conference play. The Ducks finish the regular season at home with bouts against Arizona State and third- ranked Arizona, respectively.
While Oregon was celebrating, USC's miserable season continued on Thursday night. The Trojans dropped a 76-66 decision to Oregon State. The loss was the ninth straight for Andy Enfield's bunch, which is just 1-14 against Pac-12 foes and 10-18 overall. They are on the road in their final two games against Evergreen State schools Washington State and Washington.
When USC took the trip north to battle Oregon in Eugene earlier this season, it was sent packing with a 78-66 loss. The Ducks have won each of the last seven meetings with the Trojans to improve to 62-48 in the all-time series.
Young scored 26 points, including a layup that forced the second overtime and Moser tallied 12 points, 20 rebounds and five assists to push Oregon past UCLA. Although the loss came with the Bruins' two leading scorers watching instead of playing, as Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams served suspensions, the win was still an impressive one for the Ducks, who had an 18-7 scoring edge off turnovers, and a 50-38 advantage on the glass.
Both Moser and Young came to Oregon via transfer, and they have been the cornerstones for the team this season. Young (18.9 ppg) is one of the best pure scorers in the conference, shooting 48.5 percent from the floor, 42 percent from 3-point range and 89.2 percent from the free-throw line. Moser (13.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg) has taken more of a back seat when it comes to scoring, but he is the anchor in the paint. Jason Calliste (12.1 ppg) and Damyean Dotson (10.5 ppg) add scoring depth for the Ducks, who are the top scoring team in the Pac-12 (83 ppg).
J.T. Terrell finished with a game-high 21 point, but he did not get much support as USC fell to Oregon State. The Trojans only knocked down 37.3 percent of their shots from the floor in the contest. They also had nine shots blocked and suffered a 39-31 deficit on the boards.
While Oregon has made a habit of lighting up the scoreboard at an accelerated rate, USC has struggled to do so. The Trojans are next-to-last in the Pac-12 in both scoring (70.9 ppg) and field goal percentage (.440), all while giving up 75.8 ppg at the defensive end of the floor. Byron Wesley (17.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is the only consistent offensive threat on the roster, although Pe'Shon Howard (10.6 ppg, 4.1 apg) and Terrell (10.4 ppg) are each averaging double figures as well. Wesley tallied nine points on just 4-of-13 shooting against Oregon State in his return from a two-game suspension.
Wesley may be back in the fold for USC, but that doesn't mean the Trojans are going to be able to solve their offensive issues all at once to knock off an Oregon team that seems to have found its rhythm.
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