Poor outside shooting and defensive miscues ruined head coach Andy Enfield's coaching debut for USC as the Trojans fell 78-65 to Utah State at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah.
USC shot only 37 percent from the field, including a paltry 4-for-24 (17 percent) from beyond the three-point line. Senior guard J.T. Terrell was one of the few Trojans to shoot well, finishing 8-for-17 with a game-high 20 points. Omar Oraby was one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with 15 points and nine boards. Byron Wesley also had 15 points, but needed 18 field goal attempts to hit that mark.
Wesley finished 0-for-4 from three-point land while senior transfer from Maryland Pe'Shon Howard struggled even worse, going 0-for-5 from deep. Howard was only 1-of-7 from the field, but he and Wesley did both have four assists and only one turnover.
In fact, USC took care of the ball all game, committing only eight turnovers. However, the Trojans couldn't push the tempo with easy baskets as they only forced seven turnovers.
Utah State took a 40-33 halftime lead thanks to a 12-0 run in middle of the first half. The Trojans bounced back when Terrell went on his own 6-0 run. After swishing a 3-pointer from the right side, he collected the first transition points in the Andy Enfield era (over 11 minutes into the game) with a nice Euro-step move that resulted in the basket and a foul that he converted.
Terrell also collected the first dunk of the Enfield era with an emphatic two-handed putback slam of a Julian Jacobs' miss. He had the first alley-oop as well less than two minutes later on a nice cross-court pass by Howard. USC tried two other alley-oop attempts, but neither connected.
The Aggies pulled away with a 13-2 run to open the second half. Preston Medlin had 11 of his team-high 17 points in the first 4:10 of the half. Utah State stretched its lead to as many as 21 points. USC trimmed the lead down to 12, but it couldn't get the stops necessary to cut the lead to single digits.
The Trojans will have another opportunity to get in the win column on Tuesday when they host Cal State Northridge in Enfield's home opener. Northridge also will feature a new coach -- former NBA player Reggie Theus, who will be making his debut with the Matadors.