USC beats New Mexico 90-82, off to 3-0 start

    Jordan McLaughlin
    Nov. 22, 2015

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    LOS ANGELES (AP) Jordan McLaughlin scored 19 points, fellow guard Elijah Stewart added 18 and USC defeated New Mexico 90-82 Saturday night for its first 3-0 start since 2000-01.

    Bennie Boatwright added 15 points and Julian Jacobs had 14 for the Trojans, who won their first two games by double-digits.

    ''He's playing much more under control and his shot selection is better,'' USC coach Andy Enfield said.

    Samford transfer Tim Williams led the Lobos (3-1) with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Butler transfer Elijah Brown added 18 points and Obij Aget, their 7-foot-1 center from South Sudan, had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

    ''We just didn't bring that passion to the defensive end like we're used to. All five guys talking. All the guys engaged,'' Williams said. ''When they jumped out on us we even got more quiet instead of picking up the talk and trying to fight back.''

    New Mexico trailed by 20 points when it rallied with a 30-15 run to close to 81-76 with under two minutes remaining. The Lobos hit five 3-pointers, including three by Cullen Neal, and Williams added 11 in the spurt.

    The Trojans went 8 of 12 from the line down the stretch while the Lobos got consecutive 3-pointers from Brown and Anthony Mathis that left them trailing 87-82. Katin Reinhardt came up with a big block of Brown's attempted 3-pointer and the Lobos were called for traveling to end the threat.

    The Trojans stretched a 17-point halftime lead to 54-33 early in the second with six straight points. McLaughlin and Reinhardt hit back-to-back 3-pointers that made it 66-46.

    Brown made three-consecutive 3-pointers midway through the half, but the Lobos still trailed 66-49. They shot 39 percent for the game.

    USC made a season-high 12 3-pointers, with Stewart and Boatwright hitting four each.

    The game was tied 12-all in the opening minutes when the Trojans launched a 20-8 run that produced their first double-digit lead, 32-20. Five different players scored, including Stewart with two 3-pointers and McLaughlin with five points.

    ''We just couldn't put the ball in the hole in the first half,'' Williams said. ''You're going to have games like that, but it has to start on the defensive end, and we didn't do that.''

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    TIP-INS

    New Mexico: The Lobos controlled the boards, 47-39. ... They played USC for the fourth time in five seasons and fell to 6-7 all-time in the series.

    USC: McLaughlin was called for an intentional foul on Brown in the second half.

    UP NEXT

    New Mexico: Hosts Nicholls State on Wednesday.

    USC: Hosts Cal State Northridge on Monday