USC (3-3) at Nebraska (5-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, December 3, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Devaney Center (13,595) -- Lincoln, Nebraska. Television: None. Home Record: USC 2-1, Nebraska 4-1. Away Record: USC 0-0, Nebraska 1-0. Neutral Record: USC 1-2, Nebraska 0-0. Conference Record: USC 0-0, Nebraska 0-0. Series Record: USC leads, 5-4.
GAME NOTES: The Nebraska Cornhuskers return to the friendly confines of the Devaney Center on Monday evening, for a non-conference showdown with the USC Trojans.
Tim Miles' first season in Lincoln has got off to a fast start, with the team winning five of its first six games. The Cornhuskers have certainly enjoyed home cooking in the early going, as five of those six games have been played at the Devaney Center. Nebraska hit the road for the first time in its last outing, topping Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, 79-63.
Kevin O'Neill's Trojans are playing their first true road game of this season in this contest. USC was a dismal 1-11 on the road last season. The team has split its first six games this season, three of which were played at home. USC enters this contest having lost two straight games, including a 66-60 decision to nationally-ranked San Diego State last time out.
USC holds a narrow 5-4 advantage in the all-time series with Nebraska, although the Cornhuskers have tightened things up with wins in each of the last three meetings, including a 64-61 2OT affair a year ago.
The Trojans fell behind by 19 points to the Aztecs, but an 18-4 run to start the second half helped make a game of it down the stretch before SDSU pulled out the win. USC shot an awful .258 from the floor in the first half (8-of-31) and trailed 35-23 at the break. Eric Wise was the only Trojan to finish in double-digit points, with 14. Dewayne Dedmon managed just seven points in the loss, but did grab 10 rebounds, helping USC earn a 43-36 advantage on the boards.
The offensive numbers have not been ideal for the Trojans in the early going, as the team is netting just 66.0 ppg and doing so on a less-than-impressive .403 shooting. Still, defense has kept USC in games, with foes averaging just 67.0 ppg. The scoring pool isn't very deep, as only J.T. Terrell and Wise are currently averaging double figures at 12.5 and 11.3 ppg, respectively. Byron Wesley (8.7 ppg) and Jio Fontan (7.7 ppg) provide limited scoring punch, although Fontan has been strong passing the ball (7.0 apg).
The Cornhuskers shot a scorching 62 percent from the floor in the second half, amassing 51 points to cruise to a victory over Wake Forest in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge contest last week. The team used a 20-3 run in the second half to post its largest margin of victory in a road game since the 2003-04 season. Ray Gallegos and Andre Almeida led the way for Nebraska with 20 points apiece. Almeida completed a double-double with 11 rebounds. Dylan Talley and Brandon Ubel added to the scoring deluge with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Despite averaging a modest 65.2 ppg this year, the Cornhuskers have been efficient offensively, shooting a healthy .460 from the floor overall. Three of the five starters are averaging double figures, led by Talley's 15.8 ppg. Ubel is a close second at 14.8 ppg, with Gallegos coming in at 13.0 ppg.
The Trojans have been hit or miss this season. While Nebraska isn't going to vie for a Big Ten title this season, Miles does have the Cornhuskers playing well together.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Nebraska 73, USC 64
12/03 10:34:33 ET