USC (10-9, 1-5) AT Oregon St. (11-8, 3-4) / Gill Coliseum / 6 PM / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
After splitting their road trip to the state of Washington, Oregon St. returns home to host the LA schools, starting tonight with USC.
The Trojans took visiting Stanford to overtime last Sunday, but the Cardinal pulled away for a 79-71 win. This after upsetting California, at the time second in the conference, 77-69 the game before.
Byron Lesley, USC's usual leading scorer, led the Trojans with a game high 18 points, and both J.T. Terrell and Pe'Shon Howard had 13.
The Beavers dropped an 87-81 decision at Washington last Saturday, despite a 31 point afternoon from Roberto Nelson, the Pac-12's leading scorer. Nelson became the 6th player in Oregon St. history to score 1,600 points in his college career in the process.
But the 2 problems Oregon St. had were Eric Moreland, who was playing despite being somewhat under the weather, being held to 1 point and 6 rebounds, and an inability to keep Washington out of the paint, as the smaller Huskies made 21 of their 31 baskets on either layups, dunks, or from inside 5 feet, and also out-rebounded Oregon St. I was the first game of the conference season the Beavers have been outboarded.
It's the first trip in 2 years to Corvallis for the Trojans, who defeated the Beavers 69-68 last year in the Galen Center, but did not have to make a return trip in the Pac-12 schedule rotation.
USC and Oregon St. traded the lead 8 times in the last 8 possessions of last year's game, with the deciding play being a block of Collier's would have been winning shot by Eric Wise.
The Beavers had battled back after being 15 points down, and got 26 points from Nelson on the night, but coach Craig Robinson elected to go with Collier instead of Nelson with the game on the line.
As their results against the Bay Area schools attest, the Trojans are a team capable of winning on any given night, but this is the 11th place team in the conference. It's a game Oregon St. about has to win if they are to have much hope of any sort of post-season bid, especially with 5 of the next 7 games after this weekend on the road, beginning with a trip to the state of Arizona.