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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthew Knight Arena (12,364) -- Eugene, Oregon. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: USC 8-3, Oregon 10-3. Away Record: USC 1-6, Oregon 3-3. Neutral Record: USC 1-2, Oregon 1-0. Conference Record: USC 1-7, Oregon 2-6. Series Record: USC leads, 62-48.
GAME NOTES: Two teams coming off difficult losses square off on Saturday, as the USC Trojans visit the Oregon Ducks for a Pac-12 Conference duel at Matthew Knight Arena.
USC has dropped each of its last two games in overtime, with a 79-71 loss against Stanford followed by a 76-75 disappointment at Oregon State. The Trojans have fallen below .500 on the season overall (10-11), while their 1-7 mark in league play is tied with Washington State for the worst record in the conference. Cross-town rival UCLA is next on the schedule.
Oregon let one slip away against the Bruins a couple nights ago, losing a 70-68 verdict on its home floor in the final seconds. The Ducks, who rose as high as No. 10 in the AP Top-25 this season, have lost six of their last seven games and are sitting just a game ahead of the Trojans in the conference standings (2-6). They will contend with top-ranked Arizona in their next bout.
Recently Oregon has dominated USC, with wins in six straight meetings. However, the Trojans still lead the all-time series by a healthy 62-48 margin.
In a back and forth contest with the Beavers on Thursday, the Trojans didn't have enough left in the tank in overtime. USC only connected on 1-of-7 attempts from the floor in the extra period, while shooting just 41.3 percent from the field for the game.
USC is one of the weakest offensive teams in the Pac-12. The Trojans are netting 72 ppg while shooting 44.7 percent from the field. Byron Wesley (16.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg) is the team's go-to guy, a role he filled yet again on Thursday when he tallied 23 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Scoring depth is scarce for the Trojans, with Pe'Shon Howard (10.4 ppg, 4.2 apg) and J.T. Terrell (10 ppg) the only other contributors averaging in double figures, although each is connecting on less than 40 percent from the field. Omar Oraby (9.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.5 bpg) doesn't score much, but is second in the conference in blocks.
UCLA's Travis Wear got a layup to fall with five seconds remaining to sink the Ducks. Oregon only connected on 39.6 percent of its total shots in the setback, although it did outscore the Bruins from beyond the arc (24-9), as well as off turnovers (25-20).
Oregon has not been in the habit of performing poorly on offense this season, as the Ducks rank fourth nationally and first in the Pac-12 in scoring (85.1 ppg), while shooting at a 47.6 percent clip from the field. Joseph Young (17.9 ppg) heads up the scoring effort for the Ducks, as he leads four players in double figures. He finished with a game-high 25 points against UCLA. Mike Moser (13 ppg, 7.4 rpg) is the next best option, although Jason Calliste (12.1 ppg) has been performing well off the bench recently, including a 21-point showing against the Bruins. Damyean Dotson (10.7 ppg) can also score and Johnathan Loyd (8.1 ppg, 5.5 apg) ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in assists.
The Ducks have had much more success at home than they have had failure (10-3). Expect them to bounce back from Thursday's disappointment and put together a better effort on offense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 78, USC 70
02/01 11:55:07 ET
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