Los Angeles, CA – USC started the game fast and aggressive against No. 5 Nevada, shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half and leading by as many as seven points.
The second half was a different story as the Wolfpack took the lead and never looked back en route to a 73-61 win over USC Saturday at the Galen Center.
“It was a tough game in the second half.,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “Nevada played exceptional basketball in that opening stretch. We played hard, but went through a dry spell and they put the game away.
Enfield said the defense played well enough to win but even at the end, they missed shots. That’s the way the second half went.
USC led by six points with a minute left in the first half but Tre’Shawn Thurman hit a three-pointer and a jumper to cut the lead heading into halftime, 35-34.
Nevada began the second half on a 9-0 run to open a 43-35 lead at 17:22. USC shot 35.7 percent in the second half while Nevada made 48.1 percent of its shots.
“When they go on a run, you have to go with them, and we didn’t do that. “We took a lot of tough shots. We took some good ones and missed, and we too some contested shots.”
USC junior forward Nick Rakocevic scored a season-high 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season and 10th of his career.
“The first half is a good sign we can be a top team,” Rakocevic said. “We have to come out better in the second half. When the shots aren’t falling, you have to stay composed and do it on the defensive end.”
USC’s next game will be against TCU in the Hall of Fame Classic at the Staples Center on Friday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m.