The USC men’s basketball team (9-8, 20-10) looked to be in old form Wednesday night as their offense overpowered Oregon State (17-11, 8-9) in an 81-70 victory at the Galen Center.
Sophomore guard Jordan McLaughlin once again led the way for the Trojans (20-10, 9-8) as he finished the game with a team-high 17 points and nine assists.
Much like it has gone recently, the Trojans were reliant on high-volume scoring while allowing their opponent to have open shots.
The Trojans and Beavers were fairly close on field goal percentage as USC shot 46.9 percent to Oregon State’s 42.2 percent. However, as the best three-point guarding team in the conference, the Trojans only allowed a 38.9 percent average while making 44 percent of their shots from beyond the arc.
Even though the Trojans showed a lot of efficient offense, their inability to remain consistent from the first to the second half is still a glaring issue.
USC outscored Oregon St. 56-33 in the first half, yet only scored 25 points in the second half. The lack of continuity is maddening.
Following the victory, the Trojans are now sixth in the Pac-12 and the Beavers have tumbled out of the tie all the way down to the eighth spot.
With the final game of the season on the horizon, the Trojans will face their tallest task of the season.
As the ninth ranked team in the nation, Oregon (24-6, 13-4) is looking to head into the Pac-12 tournament with full momentum in hopes of a tournament sweep and an eventual NCAA Tournament deep run.
To prove they belong in not just the Pac-12 tournament finals, but also the NCAA tournament, the Trojans must make a statement in their final game.
It won’t be enough to keep the game close, USC must find the depth they’ve been looking for all season long and prove they are ready for March Madness.