#21 USC (15-4, 4-2) at Oregon State (11-6, 2-4) / Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR / 12 NOON PST / Pac-12 Network / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon State will attempt to snap out of their current 3 game losing streak today at noon. It won't be easy, as the guest is 21st ranked USC. It will be crucial to do so though, with 5 of their next 7 games on the road.
The Beavers, and specifically Gary Payton II got in early foul trouble Wednesday night against UCLA, and the Bruins made a 12-0 fun to build a lead they would never relinquish. A combination of UCLA shooting 52% from the field and Oregon State shooting only 50% from the free throw line made the early deficit one the Beavers could never overcome, and the Bruins came away with the 82-73 win.
The Trojans will also be looking to regroup. USC came to the Willamette Valley as co-leaders of the Pac-12, but lost 89-81 at Oregon Thursday night. It was the 11th win in a row for the Ducks over the Trojans.
Length, experience, and athleticism on Oregon's part were all factors that relatively young USC could never overcome. That generally won't be the case today.
Last year, home court held serve as Oregon and USC split their season series, with the Beavers prevailing 59-55 in Gill, and the Trojans turning the tables for a 68-55 win in the Valentine's Day rematch in the Galen Center.
Overall, USC holds a narrow edge in the series, which has been contested 131 times, winning 69 times while Oregon State has 63 victories. However, the Beavers have beaten the Trojans the last 6 times they have met at Gill, and have won 8 of the last 12 contests overall. Their home court advantage will be dampened by the inexplicable decision by the Pac-12 to schedule this game opposite the AFC Championship game, instead of last evening, where both the in-arena and on-line audiences would probably have been double what will watch today.