No. 15 USC in revenge mode while facing Stanford
Southern California will get an opportunity to avenge one of its two losses this season when the 15th-ranked Trojans host Stanford in a Pac-12 Conference game Thursday at Los Angeles.
USC (17-2, 7-2) was unbeaten and ranked fifth in the nation before it stalled down the stretch in a 75-69 loss at Stanford earlier this month. The Trojans looked rusty after a recent 19-day COVID-19 pause.
Seeking to go 14-0 on the season, the Trojans led 64-62 after an Isaiah Mobley free throw with 4:06 remaining. But USC made only one basket the rest of the way, paving the way for a 13-5 Stanford run that completed the upset.
"This is the best win since I've been here -- easily," Stanford's Spencer Jones said at the time. "I'll tell you what: We're not finished. We still know that there's top-10 teams in this conference that we want to go at. So we're definitely not done."
Unfortunately for the Cardinal (11-6, 4-3), they have not followed through on the personal challenge. They were swamped 85-57 last week at home by No. 3 Arizona in their only shot at a top-10 team since their win over USC.
Stanford will visit No. 7 UCLA on Saturday.
The Cardinal are coming off a 79-76 home win over Arizona State on Saturday that ended a two-game skid. It was their first losing streak of the season. Stanford outscored the Sun Devils 27-21 on 3-pointers to more than account for the margin of victory.
The same was true in the win over USC, when Jones and Harrison Ingram hit three 3-pointers apiece as Stanford bombarded the Trojans with 10-of-24 accuracy from beyond the arc. USC countered with just 6-of-21 shooting from deep.
Jones and Ingram shared game scoring honors with 21 points apiece.
The Trojans also lost four days later at home to Oregon 79-69, but since have regained their winning ways with victories over Colorado, Utah and Arizona State over the past week.
Drew Peterson had 16 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 78-56 shellacking of the Sun Devils to tip off a three-game homestand. The Trojans will host Cal on Saturday.
Before USC players had a chance to talk about the impressive victory, all postgame player interviews were canceled because of a bomb threat at USC's Galen Center that forced evacuation of the building. The threat was deemed by local police not to be credible.
Before the evacuation, USC coach Andy Enfield had a chance to praise his reserves, who accounted for 36 of his team's 78 points.
"It was a good team win," Enfield said. "The bench really helped us. It was a big factor in uplifting our energy at the end of the first half and into the second half."
Max Agbonkpolo, who has averaged 10 points during USC's three-game winning streak, led the bench brigade with 12 points.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 26, 2022