Los Angeles, CA – USC started the game scorching hot from beyond the arc, draining eight-of-12 three-pointers in the first 10 minutes.
The Trojans made a season-high 14 3-pointers en route to a dominating 84-67 win over Utah on Sunday at the Galen Center. The victory snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Utes.
“That was a good win against a good Utah team,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “To force turnovers and get 84 points is a good thing.”
USC completely dominated the Utes from start to finish. The Trojans played loose and always seemed to find the open man as they took a 32-13 lead on a Jonah Matthews 3-pointer midway through the first half.
Matthews led USC with 17 points and finished 3-for-5 from 3-points range.
“I felt good tonight,” Matthews said. “I hit my first one and my teammates kept finding me.”
Defensively, the Trojans held Utah to 32 percent shooting from the field and forced 11 turnovers to take a commanding 46-22 lead at halftime. USC made most of their opportunities, scoring 15 points off turnovers in the first half while draining nine three-pointers and shooting 60 percent.
In the last five games, USC has registered 45 steals and forced 89 turnovers.
“It (not having De’Anthony Melton) hurt our defense in the beginning of the year,” Enfield said. “Now we’re playing very good team defense, but we still have room for improvement.”
USC announced Melton would be held out for the 2017-18 season after the school determined that a close friend received an extra benefit.
“We made a statement tonight, for De’Anthony and for Utah,” Matthews said. “They were talking trash to us. We tried to keep our composure and let the scoreboard talk for us.”
USC will hit the road to visit Oregon on Thursday, Jan. 18. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.