USC To Host No. 8/No. 7 UCLA At Galen Wednesday|
Jan. 24, 2017
The USC Trojans (17-4, 4-4) will host the No. 8/No. 7 UCLA Bruins (19-2, 6-2) at the Galen Center on Jan. 25 at 8:00 p.m. USC began the season 14-0 which ranks tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in school history and was the best USC start since the 1971 season. USC's 17-4 start is its best since the 1992 team also went 17-4. Jordan McLaughlin will be recognized before the game for joining the 1,000-points scored club. Former player and head coach Bob Boyd's No. 19 jersey will be retired at halftime. Fans can purchase tickets to USC games by going to USCTrojans.com/tickets Click Here
BREAKING DOWN UCLA -- No. 8/No. 7 UCLA (19-2, 6-2) is coming off a 96-85 home loss to then No. 14/No. 13 Arizona on Jan. 21. UCLA has averaged 93.0 points per game and has ecliped the 100-point mark seven times. UCLA has six players averaging at least 10.2 points per game, led by senior guard Bryce Alford at 17.2. USC defeated UCLA three times last season, including 95-71 in the Pac-12 Tournament. USC trails in the all-time series with UCLA, 107-138, which reflects one USC win vacated due to NCAA penalty. USC is 8-10 in its last 18 games against the Bruins, but are only 1-4 at home in the last five games at the Galen Center.
USC HANGS ON TO DEFEAT ASU -- Elijah Stewart scored 29 points, making seven of USC's 14 three-point baskets, and USC defeated Arizona State 82-79 on Jan. 22 at the Galen Center. USC led by at least 10 points seven times and by a game-high 14 points at 81-67 with 3:13 remaining, but the Sun Devils closed on a 12-1 run. ASU had the ball trailing 82-79 with 14 seconds remaining when Chimezie Metu blocked Torian Graham's layup attempt. ASU maintained possession and Graham missed a contested three-pointer with 6 seconds left, but USC's Jonah Mathews had a turnover on the inbounds pass. After an ASU timeout and an intentional foul by Stewart, as the Trojans had fouls to give, ASU's Shannon Evans had his three-pointer from the corner blocked by Jordan McLaughlin to preserve USC's win. McLaughlin had 18 points and eight assists in the game, while Mathews, making his first career start, added 14. Stewart's points were one off his career high and he tied his career best for three-pointers. The Trojans equaled their season high with 14 three-pointers made.
GAME AT WASHINGTON ON DECK -- USC's next game will be at Washington (9-10, 2-5) on Feb. 1 at 8:00 p.m. Washington will play at Arizona State on Jan. 25 and at No. 7/No. 9 Arizona on Feb. 29 before hosting the Trojans. Washington is led by freshman guard Markelle Fultz who leads the conference with a 23.4 scoring average. Washington leads the all-time series 71-69, which reflects two wins vacated by USC due to NCAA penalty. The teams split the season series last year with both team winning their home games.
J-MAC ATTACKING THE CHARTS -- Junior guard Jordan McLaughlin scored his 1,000th career point with his last basket vs. Arizona on Jan. 19 to become the 37th Trojan to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He then dished out eight assists against ASU on Jan. 22 to give him 368 for his career, passing Gus Williams (362) and Daniel Hackett (363) to move into sixth place on USC's all-time career assists list.
STEWART SHOOTING UP THE 3-POINT CHARTS -- Junior guard Elijah Stewart tied a career high with seven three-point baskets against Arizona State on Jan. 22 to give him 149 in his career. He now is tied with Dwight Lewis for ninth on USC's all-time list for three-pointers made as a Trojan. Phil Glenn is eighth on USC's career three-point baskets made list with 156.
STILL IN RARIFIED AIR -- USC is one of 40 Division I schools (out of 351) which has four losses or less through games of Jan. 23 and its .810 winning percentage is tied for 23rd best in the country. USC's is tied for 13th in the country in wins with 17.
THESE FOES AIN'T FOOLS -- USC went 13-0 in nonconference play and nine of the 13 teams it played are .500 or better this season and 10 are in double figures in wins. When you add in the teams USC has faced in the Pac-12 so far, 15 of USC's 21 opponents are currently .500 or better and 15 of the teams have at least 10 wins. The four teams which USC has lost to have a combined record of 64-15.
PRECISION FROM THE POINT -- USC junior point guard Jordan McLaughlin has efficiently led the USC offense while averaging 14.1 points 3.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists. He is also making 47.9 percent of his shots, including 7-for-7 vs. Pepperdine on Dec. 11. He ranks third among Pac-12 players with 108 assists and with a 2.3 assist to turnover ratio through games on Jan. 23. In the last 14 games, he has averaged 16.1 points (225 total), 3.4 rebounds (48 total) and 5.2 assists (73 total). McLaughlin has 368 career assists which ranks sixth on USC's all-time assists list. Jacque Hill with 389 career assists ranks fifth on USC's all-time list. McLaughlin went 3-for-8 from the free throw line in the 74-73 loss to California on Jan. 8 after entering the game having made 35 of previous 37 free throw attempts (94.6 percent). Still, he has made 86.3 percent (44 of 51) of his free throws in the last 12-plus games.
SULTANS OF SWAT -- USC set a school record for blocks in a game with 14 vs. Pepperdine on Dec. 11, but did not record a block at Colorado on Jan. 15, its first game without a block since Jan. 19, 2012 at Oregon (snapping a streak of 161 consecutive games with at least one block). USC bounced back with eight blocks against Arizona on Jan. 19 and seven vs. ASU on Jan. 22. For the season, USC is averaging 5.9 blocks per game which ranks 12th in the country. Four different Trojans have at least 15 blocks : Metu (35), Stewart (27), Melton (26) and Rakocevic (15).
STEW CAN DO -- Junior guard Elijah Stewart made a career-high seven three-point baskets vs. Pepperdine on Dec. 11 to tie for fourth on USC's single-game three-point baskets made list. He then matched that with seven makes from long range against ASU on Ja. 22 He had made at least one shot from beyond the arc in 20 consecutive games dating back to last season, before going 0-for-5 at Oregon State on Dec. 28. He now has at least one three-point basket in 25 of his last 28 games. His career total of 149 three-pointers made is tied for ninth on USC's all-time list with Dwight Lewis, seven behind Phil Glenn who is eigth with 156. Stewart is tied for the team scoring lead at a 14.1 points per game and leads USC with 52 three-point baskets, while ranking second in blocks (27), third in rebounds (107) and fourth in free throws made (42). He has also scored in double figures in 15 of 21 games this season, with a high of 30 points. Stewart's 2.5 made three-pointers per game is fourth among all Pac-12 players. Stewart also has 27 blocks this season and 90 in his career which is 10th on USC's all-time blocked shots list, one ahead of Chimezie Metu and five behind Nikola Vucevic who is ninth on USC's career blocks list with 95.
METU MOUNTAIN -- Sophomore Chimezie Metu scored a career-high 24 points on 11 of 14 shooting at Colorado on Jan. 15, including making the go-ahead basket with 29 seconds remaining. He scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds vs. Stanford on Jan. 5 for his fourth double-double of the season and fifth of his career. He scored a then season-high 20 points vs. California on Jan. 8. For the season he is averaging 13.6 points and 7.5 rebounds and leads the team with 35 blocks and 38 dunks, while ranking fourth on the team with 20 steals. Metu has at least one dunk in 18 of USC's 21 games. He has been a consistent force for the Trojans with double-figures in points and six or more rebounds in 16 of the 21 games this season.
MATHEWS STARTS AGAINST ASU -- Freshman guard Jonah Mathews made his first career start vs. ASU on Jan. 22 and netted 14 points and had three steals. He has provided USC with valuable minutes off the bench all season, but none more impressive than in the overtime win vs. Wyoming on Dec. 23. With several Trojans in foul trouble, Mathews played a season-high 39 minutes and scored a career-best 26 points and registered a USC 2016-17 best six steals. Mathews made 5 of 8 three-pointers, including a cluch trey to tie the game at 90-all in overtime. He followed that up with 10 points at Oregon State on Dec. 28 and a team-high 11 points at Oregon on Dec. 30. He is averaging 10.6 points (95 total) in the last nine games and is third on the team this season with 27 three-point baskets made.