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Evan Mobley leads USC to a win over Drake in opening round of NCAA Tournament

The superstar freshman dominated the Bulldogs inside the paint.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in four years, the USC Trojans won an NCAA Tournament game.

Star forward Evan Mobley had 17 points and 11 rebounds, while his older brother Isiah chipped in with 15 points and five boards to lead the Trojans to a XX-XX win over the Drake Bulldogs.

USC used its length to dominate Drake inside. The Mobley brothers had their way inside the paint and the Bulldogs had no answer.

The Trojans began playing better as the game wore on. After a slow start, they began to pull away in the second half, outscoring Drake 32-19 over the final 20 minutes.

The two teams went blow-for-blow over the opening 10 minutes as USC held a 21-18 lead. Guard Joseph Yesufu got going for the Bulldogs and helped them take a 28-26 lead.

But the Trojans finished the half strong. Mobley came alive, scoring eight of his 13 points over the final five minutes, giving USC a 40-27 lead at the break.

Andy Enfield’s squad came out of the locker room rejuvenated. The Trojans went on an 11-3 run to extend their lead to 51-40 less than six minutes into the half. USC’s defense gave the Bulldogs fits in the second half, holding Drake to just three-of-24 shooting over the first 12 minutes.

Yesufu hit a 3 to cut the deficit to seven, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get. Drew Peterson and Tahj Eddy hit back-to-back 3-pointers getting USC’s lead back up to 13 and the Trojans never looked back.

Pac-12 teams are now 4-0 in the NCAA Tournament.

USC will play No. 3 seed Kansas in the Round of 32 on Monday.