USC (10-9, 1-5) never trailed in a solid 77-69 win against Cal Wednesday night at the Galen Center. The Golden Bears (14-5, 5-1) entered as one of the hottest team's in the conference, but the Trojans jumped out to an early 13-6 lead and never looked back, snapping a five-game losing streak.
"They beat us in every phase of the game. They performed better," Cal head coach Mike Montgomery said. "They beat us fair and square."
Leading scorer Byron Wesley was coming off back-to-back subpar performances, but he started strong, scoring USC's first five points.
"My teammates did a really good job of finding me early, hitting me for a couple of wide-open shots," Wesley said. "From that point on, we were all just clicking and it just feels good to finally get a win."
The Trojans pounded the basketball inside with center Omar Oraby reaping the benefits early. Oraby scored nine points in the first half, making all four of his field goals and his only free throw attempt.
In the second half, it was all Trojans. USC pushed it's nine-point halftime lead out as many as 15 points midway through the half. Cal trimmed the lead down to seven with 1:36 remaining when Tyrone Wallace, who averaged 15.6 points in the first five Pac-12 matchups, hit his first 3-pointer (and only second shot) of the game. He scored only five points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Jovanovic sealed the victory for USC with four free throws down the stretch and the Golden Bears didn't even attempt to foul in the final minute. Jovanovic finished a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe to go along with his 8-for-10 shooting performance from the field.
"This was a great win for our program," Enfield said, "especially after the last two weeks."
As a team, USC shot 52 percent from the field and held Cal to 39 percent. The Trojans also compiled an 18-to-11 assist-to-turnover ratio. Pe'Shon Howard started at point guard and dished out 10 dimes -- the most by a Trojan this season. He also added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.
"Pe'Shon brings a log of veteran, savvy play at the point," Wesley said. "Pe'Shon has played in the ACC. He's played in these big games, so he just brings a lot of confidence to our team."
Julian Jacobs came off the bench for the first time since the season opener and scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including knocking down both of his 3-pointers. He also dished out four assists with no turnovers -- the same as Wesley. To go along with the assists, Wesley finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
USC will host Stanford next, Sunday at 2 p.m. PT. Cal travels to UCLA on Sunday at 8 p.m. PT.