USC To Play At Dayton Sunday In Final Game Before Christmas

    Senior Pe'Shon Howard made a career-high five 3-poiinters at Long Beach State on Dec. 19 and has averaged 16 points per game in USC's last six contests.

    Dec. 20, 2013

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    The USC Trojans (7-4) will take on the Dayton Flyers (9-2) at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio on Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. PT. USC's 7-4 start is its best since also beginning the 2010 season 7-4. That team went on to begin the season 10-4. USC is 0-2 on the road this season and has lost five straight games on the road dating back to last season. USC's last road win was Feb. 14, 2013 at Stanford. USC is 2-12 in its last 14 nonconference road games. USC's last nonconference road win was at UC Riverside on Nov. 30, 2011.

    PREVIEWING DAYTON - The Dayton Flyers are 9-2 and coming off a 96-84 home win vs. Iona on Dec. 19. USC and Dayton met for the first time last year in Los Angeles and the Trojans won that game 63-61 in overtime on Dec. 30. The last time USC played at the University of Dayton Arena was on March 16, 2011 when it lost to VCU in a First Four game of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Guard Jordan Sibert (12.8), forward Devin Oliver (11.7), forward Dyshawn Pierre (10.7) and guard Vee Sanford (10.6) are all averaging double figures in scoring for the Flyers this season. Dayton is 6-0 at home this season.

    LATE BASKET SPOILS USC'S COMEBACK AT LONG BEACH -- Mike Caffey scored 22 points and made a driving layup with 16 seconds left, giving Long Beach State a 72-71 home victory over USC on Dec. 19 to snap the 49ers' nine-game skid. USC erased a 16-point second-half deficit to take a 71-70 lead with 1:11 left the the game by scoring five straight points. First Omar Oraby, who posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, fought off two defenders to score inside while being fouled. He completed the three-point play and then Julian Jacobs stole the ball at midcourt and scored on the breakaway to give USC the lead. Pe'Shon Howard led USC with 19 points. It was USC's first 1-point loss since Nov. 20, 2010 vs. Bradley.

    HOWARD ON DECK - The Howard Bison (3-12) will visit the Galen Center on Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. for USC's last nonconference game. USC leads the all-time series 3-0, winning the last meeting 107-65 on Dec. 21, 1993. Twelve of the Bison's first 15 games have been played on the road. They have been off since falling 77-59 at Liberty on Dec. 17. Freshman James Daniel (19.8) and junior Prince Okoroh (15.8) have led Howard in scoring this season.

    FRESHMEN DOING FINE -- USC's scholarship freshmen group of guards Julian Jacobs and Kahlil Dukes and forwards Nikola Jovanovic and Roschon Prince have combined to score 263 points in USC's last 10 games (26.3 ppg). Jacobs leads the team with 48 assists and is fourth with 53 rebounds. Jovanovic is averaging 9.4 points, Jacobs 7.2, Prince 6.0 and Dukes 3.2. Jovanovic is also third on the team with 60 rebounds. USC already has 21 combined games started by the freshmen this season, after having none last season.

    NIKOLA 2.0 -- Freshman Nikola Jovanovic can't help but draw comparisons to another Nikola who played for USC, Orlando Magic star Nikola Vucevic. Jovanovic has been given a chance to play more earlier in his career and has already scored more points that Vucevic did his entire freshman season. Jovanovic is leading USC with a .870 shooting percentage from the free throw line and is quickly establishing himself as a tough rebounder, while averaging 9.4 points per game. He has scored 53 points, pulled down 32 rebounds and has five assists in the last four games. He posted his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds vs. CSUB on Dec. 15.

    HEART 2 HEART -- Less than 24 hours after the heartbreaking one-point loss at Long Beach State, the Trojans showed their heart and visited with patients at the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. The Trojan contingent included assistant coach Tony Bland and players Chass Bryan, Samer Dhillon, Nikola Jovanovic, Daniel Munoz, Roschon Prince and Brendyn Taylor.

    GAME STREAMED LIVE -- Fans can follow today's game at Dayton live for free online at: It is also on Time Warner (Ohio) and the SNY network.

    SIGNS OF SLAM CITY -- USC had four dunks at Long Beach State on Dec. 19 and now has out-slammed the opposition 37-12 this season.

    GETTING TO THE LINE -- USC has taken 298 free throws through 11 games for an average of 27.1 per game. Last season through 11 games, USC averaged 17.1 free throw attempts (188 total). USC opponents this season have taken 19.0 free throws per game.

    HOT AT HOME - USC has won its first six home games this season, the most consecutive home wins to start a season since winning the first eight home games of the 2009 season. Dating back to the 2012-13 season, USC has won eight consecutive home games.

    RARE STREAKS -- USC won four straight games from Nov. 12-21 and won three consecutive games from Nov. 30-Dec. 15 making in the first time since the 2009-10 season that the Trojans have had two winning streaks of three or more games.

    BATTLE OF THE BOARDS -- USC outrebounded Long Beach State 40-37 on Dec. 19 and has outrebounded the opposition eight of 11 games this season for a 442-404 advantage. USC outrebounded Boston College 44-27 on Dec. 8 for its biggest advantage (+17) in a game this season.

    USC A LITTLE MORE OFFENSIVE IN 2013-14 -- Through the first 11 games this season USC has scored 814 points, 119 more than through the first 11 games of the 2012-13 season, for an average of 10.8 more points per game. USC has scored 73 or more points six times this season, after reaching that scoring plateau a total of six times last season.

    TROJANS PAINTING A PRETTY PICTURE -- For the season USC has outscored the opposition 418-332 in points in the paint: at Utah State (36-36), vs. CSUN (50-26), vs. NAU (42-22), vs. CSUF (36-30), vs. West Alabama (32-20), vs. Villanova (49-30), vs. Wake Forest (33-34), vs. Xavier (36-46), vs. BC (38-22), vs. CSUB (30-24) and at LBSU (36-42).

    DEFENSE CLAMPING DOWN -- USC has held its last three opponents to an average of 64.3 points on 39.2 percent shooting (74-for-189). USC has held five of its opponents to 37.5 percent or less from the field and is 5-0 in those games.