USC is 5-0 for the first time since 2001 after it upset No.20-ranked Wichita State, 72-69, in the first round of the AdvoCare Invitational on Thanksgiving Day.
The team is off to the program’s best start since the 2000-01 season when it started 8-0, and its victory over the Shockers notches them its first win over a ranked opponent since 2013 — the first under third-year head coach Andy Enfield.
The Trojans (5-0) were powered by the performance of freshman forward Bennie Boatwright, who posted a career-high 22 points. Sophomore guard Jordan McLaughlin carried the load in the first half, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the game’s the first 20 minutes.
Wichita State (2-2), which was playing without out senior guard Fred VanVleet, was led by redshirt senior guard Ron Baker, who had a game-high 25 points.
Boatwright and Katin Reinhardt hit back-to-back three-pointers to give USC a 70-62 advantage late in the fourth quarter. The Shockers rallied to cut the lead to just a one-possession game with just a few seconds to go, but down 72-69, Wichita State’s Zach Brown saw his potential game-tying shot attempt miss off the back iron.
USC led for the majority of the game and also took a 30-29 lead into halftime.
The Trojans advance to play N0. 23-ranked Xaxier in the tournament semifinals on Friday. Tip off is set for 11:30 a.m. PT.