USC (7-4) at Dayton (9-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 22, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: UD Arena (13,409) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: SNY, TWC Sports. Home Record: USC 6-0, UD 6-0. Away Record: USC 0-2, UD 1-1. Neutral Record: USC 1-2, UD 2-1. Conference Record: USC 0-0, UD 0-0. Series Record: USC leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The USC Trojans take aim at their first true road win of the season, as they square off with the Dayton Flyers in a non-conference bout at UD Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The Trojans were defeated for the fourth time this season on Thursday when they suffered a 72-71 loss in a thrilling Golden State showdown at Long Beach State. USC held a late lead over the 49ers, but allowed a layup that put LBSU up by a point, and it could not answer. Coach Andy Enfield's first year with the program has been up-and-down to this point. The Trojans, who are averaging 74 points per game, have already notched notable victories over Xavier and Boston College. USC is just 2-12 in its last 14 non-conference road games.
Dayton is seeking its third victory in a row after taking a 96-84 decision from Iona on Thursday. The Flyers managed to knock off Georgia Tech, Gonzaga and California during their 9-2 start to the season. They never trailed in the game against the Gaels. Dayton kept up its strong offensive play and connected on 55.4 percent of its shots from the floor to improve to 6-0 at UD Arena. Miller's squad is averaging 77.6 ppg on 48.4 percent field goal efficiency.
This will be just the second meeting between USC and Dayton. The Trojans downed the Flyers, 63-61, in overtime last season in Los Angeles to claim a 1-0 series lead.
The Trojans overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half against LBSU, but they fell to 0-2 on the road after Byron Wesley's jumper in the final moments of regulation was off target. Pe'Shon Howard paced USC with 19 points, while Omar Oraby recorded his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 boards. Wesley, who averages a team-high 15.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per outing, went 1-of-7 from the floor to net just two points. The 6-foot-5 junior guard is also accounting for 6.9 rpg to lead USC on the glass. Howard is the second-leading scorer for the Trojans at 11.9 ppg. Freshman point guard Julian Jacobs has struggled to produce points, but he has shown value as a distributor with 4.4 assists per game.
Dayton's bench contributed 38 points against Iona, with 17 coming courtesy of Vee Sanford, who went 8-of-11 from the field. Dyshawn Pierre registered a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Khari Price chipped in 16 points. The Flyers assisted 22 of their 36 made field goal attempts and committed only 11 turnovers. In his first year with the program since transferring from Ohio State, junior guard Jordan Sibert is averaging a team- high 12.8 ppg. Senior forward Devin Oliver played a big role in Dayton's early success and averages 11.7 ppg to go along with a team-leading 7.0 rpg, but he has scored in double figures in only one of his last four outings.
The Flyers have been able to use a strong effort on defense that forces turnovers and prevents offensive rebounds to get out in transition and score some easy baskets. USC is going to steadily rise into the ranks of the elite under Enfield, but it will have trouble slowing down this red-hot Dayton squad today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dayton 84, USC 71
12/22 10:49:10 ET