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USC Falls Behind Early, Loses 75-67 at Oregon

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The Trojans fell behind 16-2 in the first four minutes, battled back to tie it at 61 with 5:40 to go, but Oregon pulled away late.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans won the final 35:34 over the Oregon Ducks 65-59. Unfortunately for them, however, they fell behind 16-2 early and Oregon held on for a 75-67 victory on Thursday night in Eugene. USC did tie the game briefly at 61-61 with 5:40 to go, but they didn't score again for nearly five minutes and never led all night.

Joseph Young led all scorers with 19 points for the Ducks, despite shooting just 6-of-20 and 3-of-12 from three-point range. Jordan Bell had only two points, but pulled down 13 rebounds. Elgin Cook (15), Dillon Brooks (12) and Jalil Abdul-Bassit (11) all scored in double figures for Oregon.

Katin Reinhardt and Julian Jacobs led USC with 16 points apiece. Reinhardt and Jordan McLaughlin, though, continued to struggle with their efficiency. The pair combined to shoot just 9-of-31 (29 percent) with 30 points and were just 5-of-15 from three-point range. Nikola Jovanovic scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, the 13th straight game he has scored in double figures.

USC was down at the half 44-31 and went on a prolonged 30-17 run over about 15 minutes to tie the game. The spurt was keyed by better defensive intensity, three key 3-pointers by Reinhardt, and Oregon just flat out missing wide open three-point attempts. The Ducks hit 7-of-18 from long range in the first half and were just 1-of-7 in the second.

USC actually out-shot Oregon for the game, 37.3 percent to 36.2 percent. The difference? Oregon made two more three-pointers and 14 more free throws. The Ducks were 25-of-31 at the line (80.6 percent), while USC was just 11-of-18 (61.1 percent).

The Trojans fall to 9-9 overall and 1-5 in the conference after losing three in a row. Oregon improves to 13-6 and 3-3. It's the ninth straight loss for the Trojans against the Ducks. USC will travel to Corvallis to face Oregon State (13-5, 4-2) on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. PST.