Dayton (9-3) at USC (4-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 30, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Galen Center (10,258) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Dayton 6-0, USC 3-3. Away Record: Dayton 1-0, USC 0-3. Neutral Record: Dayton 2-1, USC 1-2. Conference Record: Dayton 0-0, USC 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: In their last game before opening up Pac-12 play the USC Trojans will take on the Dayton Flyers at the Galen Center on Sunday.
Dayton bounced back from a tough loss against Illinois State by earning an impressive 77-68 victory over Murray State last Saturday. The win was the fifth in the last six games for the Flyers who are a solid 9-3 overall. Dayton doesn't have much experience on the road this season but did pick up a win against Alabama (81-76) in its only other away game. Dayton will play UAB before kicking off its league schedule.
The Trojans are returning from a road game where they lost 64-56 to Georgia in Athens. The loss was the second straight and seventh in the last eight games for USC which has just a 4-8 record at this point in the year. In terms of home games the Trojans have split six contests. This is the first of a three- game homestand for USC that continues with its league opener against Stanford.
Prior to this matchup these teams had never before met on the hardwood.
The Flyers were able to squeeze production out of its bench to take down Murray State. Dayton outscored the Racers 26-8 on points from reserves and shot at a 44.6 percent clip in the game. That included a 9-of-19 effort from beyond the arc. Vee Sanford had a team-high 23 points in the win.
In its wins Dayton has played well offensively by shooting at a 50.1 percent clip overall in victories. In the Flyers' three losses they have been less successful (39.0 FG percentage). The hot-shooting nights have outnumbered the cool ones as the Flyers are outscoring their opponents by nearly nine points a game and shooting at a 47.0 percent clip. The Flyers also have a +4.8 edge on the boards. Kevin Dillard (15.2 ppg, 4.6 apg) has managed to score at a high rate, while also getting the rest of his teammates involved. Dillard scored 18 points and handed out 10 assists against Murray State for his second double-double this season. Sanford (12.7 ppg) and Josh Benson (11.0 ppg) also score in double figures, while Devin Oliver (9.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg) has been effective in crashing the glass.
It was another slow offensive game for USC last time out. The Trojans shot just 40.0 percent in the contest and hit on just 7-of-15 shots from the free-throw line in the loss to Georgia. The Trojans did mange to outscore the Bulldogs, 15-6 from 3-point range. Omar Oraby posted a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Trojans.
The Trojans rank dead last in the Pac-12 in scoring this season (62.6 ppg). USC has done so by shooting at a 42.2 percent clip which is better than just one other team in the conference. The Trojans have managed to keep foes within striking distance though by allowing 63.5 points per game on 41.1 percent shooting. Rebounding is another weakness with the team ranked last in the Pac-12 on the boards (34.3 pg) as well. Eric Wise (10.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg) is the most consistent scorer on the roster and hits on 53.1 percent of his shots from the floor. J.T. Terrell (10.1 ppg) is the only other player scoring in double figures but is shooting just 31.4 percent. Dewayne Dedmon (5.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg) doesn't add much scoring but is the only player that has been consistent on the boards.
Regardless of its lack of road games, Dayton is a much better offensive squad than the Trojans and should also be able to control the glass en route to a victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dayton 72, USC 64
12/30 11:05:16 ET