Trojans fall to Bears at Galen

The USC men’s basketball team dropped its third straight game on Thursday night, falling to California 75-49 at the Galen Center. The loss marked USC’s 15th defeat in its last 17 contests.

No home cookin’ · Sophomore forward Garrett Jackson had five points Thursday, shooting 2-14 from the field. As a team, the Trojans shot under 34 percent for the game, including 17.6 from behind the arc. - Chris Pham | Daily Trojan


It was a tale of two halves for the Trojans (6-19, 1-11), who were engaged in a close match featuring seven lead changes in the game’s first 20 minutes.

A costly turnover by sophomore guard Maurice Jones put Cal ahead 35-29 going into the break, which was the Golden Bears’ largest advantage up to that point.

The second half was a different story, as the Golden Bears (19-6, 9-3) recovered from an early three-point bucket courtesy of junior guard Greg Allen to outscore the Trojans 40-17 the rest of the way.

“I think the game was decided [in] the first five minutes of the second half,” USC coach Kevin O’Neil said.

During that five-minute stretch, Jones took a hard fall and had to take a temporary break from the action to bandage up a wound on his hand.

“When {Maurince Jones] is not in there we don’t function very well,” O’Neill said. “We’re asking too much of Mo.”

Jones led the way for the Trojans with 17 points on an efficient 8-13 shooting night. Only one other player, freshman guard Byron Wesley, joined him in double figures with 11 points. USC finished the game shooting 21-62 (33.9 percent), while the Golden Bears were 34-61 (55.7 percent).

“Cal is a good team, they’re a better team,” O’Neill said. “They’re at the top of the [conference] for a reason. They’re well-coached.”

Forward Harper Kamp was especially effective for the Golden Bears, scoring 14 of his 18 points after the break.

With 17:32 remaining, he started a string of six straight makes in a four-minute span to help blow the game open.

“He played like a senior is supposed to play,” O’Neill said. “He had a stretch of baskets where he made jumpers. That’s the way your guys are supposed to play at that age. He played extremely well tonight, and he did a great job for them.”

The Golden Bears also received strong performances from sophomore guard and Los Angeles native Allen Crabbe, who had 19 points, and freshman forward David Kravish, who grabbed 18 rebounds in the contest. Cal as a team controlled the boards, outrebounding USC 41-28.

“No matter what size you have, if you don’t gang rebound you’re not going to rebound well,” O’Neill said. “Especially with our size and our inexperience, we’ve got to become more of a hit-first team.”

The Trojans will finish out a two-game homestand on Sunday against the Stanford Cardinal (16-8, 6-6). Despite a strong start to the season, Stanford has struggled of late, losing five of its last six games. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Fox Sports Network.