It is bordering on cliche but it has been said before and will be said again: How your team responds to success can be just as important as how your team responds to failure. USC was coming off of wins against, at the time 7th-ranked Arizona, followed by a win over rival UCLA and their first appearance in the national rankings in quite some time. The number 21 Trojans could not keep that momentum going in Oregon unfortunately.
The Trojans came out of the gate with their trademark style and plenty of threes, dunks and transition points. Oregon, however was able to keep pace and with five lead-changes in the first half the Trojans could not pull away early. USC began to lose steam and Oregon was able to begin to pull away with a 10-0 run towards the end of the first half. USC clawed their way back into the game but things really broke open when the Ducks went on a 13-1 run partway through the second half and the Trojans never recovered.
Oregon had the rebounding edge over the Trojans and the Ducks played a clean game that minimized turnovers and maximized 3-pointers (hitting 8). The Trojans have several aspects they need to clean up as they missed several dunks and other open jumpers as well as maintaining their composure on the road (Julian Jacobs was called for travelling lost his cool and picked up a technical). Despite this bump in the road, there are plenty of things to be excited about with this Trojans team who look poised to make the NCAA Tournament.
The Trojans drop to 15-4 on the year (4-2 in conference play) USC plays the Oregon Beavers on Sunday.