The USC men’s basketball team was unable to build on its victory over Utah on Jan. 28, falling to Washington State on Thursday night, 60-53.
The Trojans (6-17, 1-9) recovered from an early deficit to take a 13-11 lead with 11:50 remaining in the first half. From there, the Cougars (12-10, 4-6) regained control, jumping out to a 30-24 advantage going into the break. Forward Brock Motum set the tone early for Washington State, contributing 14 points in the first 20 minutes of action. USC received eight points from Greg Allen off the bench.
The Trojans stuck with their opponent throughout the second half, fighting back after a 9-0 run by Washington State to bring the score to 49-45 with 6:42 left in the game. The Cougars outpaced USC 11-4 the rest of the way to pick up the win.
USC was unable to control Motum, who finished 9-11 from the field and 7-10 at the free-throw line en route to a 26-point, eight-rebound performance. Motum was the only player on the Cougars to finish with double-digit points.
Junior guard Greg Allen paced the Trojans with 17 points, including five 3-pointers in 34 minutes of action. He was aided by sophomore forward Garrett Jackson (15 points) and freshman guard Byron Wesley (12 points).
Jackson, however, battled foul trouble and registered 29 minutes of playing time. Sophomore guard Maurice Jones matched his third- lowest scoring output of the season with just seven points.
Washington State dominated the Trojans at the free-throw line and on the boards. USC attempted three foul shots, while the Cougars got to the line 19 times, converting 14. The Trojans, who used just seven players (including six in the first half), were also outrebounded, 31-18.
Next up for the Trojans will be the University of Washington at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle on Saturday. The Huskies (15-7, 8-2) are coming off a 71-69 victory over the Bruins and improved to 12-2 at home with the win.
Washington is ranked 10th in the country in rebounds per game (40.3) and 31st in scoring (76.7 points per game). Their starting backcourt of guards Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross is averaging over 31 points per contest. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Fox Sports Network.