Men's Basketball

Oregon men’s basketball: Ducks beat USC 78-63 for fifth straight win

Oregon got off to a bad start but pulled ahead late in the second half and closed out USC with a 17-3 run to win 78-63 in Los Angeles, Calif. this afternoon. The Ducks have won five games in a row and will head back to Eugene with better odds of playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Both teams got off to strong starts offensively and traded buckets for most of the first half. Pe’Shon Howard hit a three to give USC a seven point lead at 19-12, the largest for either team in the first half. It would be short-lived, though, as Jason Calliste answered with a three of his own on Oregon’s next possession.

The score was tied at 36 at halftime with free-throw shooting being the difference. USC hit their first 10 attempts from the line and finished 10-for-12 in the first half, while the typically sharp Ducks shot 7-for-12.

Each side came out of the locker room and matched the other on the scoreboard for almost 10 minutes, until Elgin Cook made a jumper to break a 58-58 tie and give Oregon a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. @@name [email protected]@

Byron Wesley’s field goal at the 9:27 mark would be the last basket for USC, who scored just three points down the stretch on o-for-5 shooting while committing six turnovers and five fouls. @@name [email protected]@

Oregon took advantage of the sloppy play and capitalized at the charity stripe, knocking down all eight free-throw attempts.

The Ducks’ bench contributed 35 points, 25 of which came from Calliste and Cook. Cook scored 12 points, his first double-digit scoring game since he had 12 against Illinois on Dec. 14.

Senior Mike Moser put together his second consecutive double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. It was Moser’s fifth double-double of the season. He added four assists and shot 9-for-15 from the field. The 6-foot-8 Moser played steady defense in place of Richard Amardi, who fouled out with 12:26 to play. @@two names [email protected]@

Leading scorer Joseph Young had a poor shooting night (5-for-15) but added 16 points for his 11th straight double-digit scoring effort.

Howard led the way offensively for the Trojans with 20 points. Leading scorer and rebounder Wesley contributed a quiet 12 points and two boards on 5-for-6 shooting.

Oregon (20-8, 8-8) wrapped up a much-needed L.A. sweep and positioned themselves to receive an at-large NCAA Tournament bid if they can split their home series next week against Arizona and Arizona State.

USC (10-19, 1-15) suffered a 10th straight loss and has dropped 15 of their last 16 games in what has been a disappointing season for first-year head coach Andy Enfield. The Trojans wrap up their regular season in Washington against the Cougars and Huskies. @@name [email protected]@

Follow Madison Guernsey on Twitter @guernseymd 

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