Byron Wesley eclipsed the 20-point mark for the second straight game, scoring 22 points to lead USC to a 76-62 win over Cal State Fullerton at the Galen Center Tuesday night.
Wesley was assisted by Omar Oraby, who dominated Fullerton's much smaller front line. The 7-foot-2 Egyptian finished with 15 points and 9 rebounds. He was 4-of-5 from the floor and knocked down 7 of his 10 free throws. However, he did the most damage on the defensive end of the court where he shunned six Titan shots to tie his career high in blocks.
"He's virtually unstoppable when we get the ball to him in the paint," USC head coach Andy Enfield said. "He's unstoppable. He either draws a foul or he scores it."
USC (3-1) jumped out to a 6-0 lead before Cal State Fullerton (2-2) ever got a shot off as the Titans had turnover woes early. The Trojans kept the pressure on and built an 18-3 lead with Fullerton turning the ball over (7) more times than they took a field goal attempt (4) through the first seven minutes.
It wasn't until four minutes into the second half that Fullerton finally had more field goals than turnovers after finishing the first half with 10 turnovers and 9 field goals.
The second half started off in similar fashion as point guard Michael Williams turned the ball over on the Titans' first possession and USC ran an alley-oop play to perfection with Julian Jacobs throwing it down on a Pe'Shon Howard pass.
The Trojans expanded their lead to 24 points on a 3-pointer from Jacobs with 15:39 to go, but Cal State Fullerton battled back, using a 14-0 run. In the final 15:39, USC managed only four field goals, but it knocked down 9 of its final 10 free throws (and grabbed the offensive rebound on the only miss).
It proved enough thanks to Fullerton shooting 7-of-18 from the free throw line and only 2-for-12 behind the arc in the second half.
Jacobs finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Howard also finished in double figures for USC with 11. Sheldon Blackwell led Fullerton with 14 points while Marquis Horne and Williams both had 10.
Fullerton leading scorer Alex Harris did not suit up due to an ankle injury. USC senior J.T. Terrell was dressed but did not play due to academic issues, according to Enfield.
USC returns to action at the Galen Center on Thursday against West Alabama (1-2) at 7 p.m. Cal State Fullerton continues its stretch of starting the season with four of five on the road on Saturday when the Titans travel to San Jose State for a 12:30 p.m. matchup.