Long Beach State upsets USC on the hardwood

Photo by De'Angelo Scruggs / fi360 News

Los Angeles, CA – The Big West Conference moves to 2-0 versus USC as the Long Beach State defeated the USC Trojans in overtime, 84-79 on Sunday afternoon. USC now has accumulated two home losses in their non-conference schedule, both being to Big West schools UC Irvine, and Long Beach State. 

All the buzz surrounding the game was on Bronny James as the freshman made his collegiate debut after suffering a cardiac arrest scare just four months ago. He offered his appreciation to everyone for helping him make a quick recovery.

Photo by De’Angelo Scruggs / fi360 News

“I wanna say I’m thankful for everything..I want to give appreciation to everyone who’s helped me with this,” James said in a brief statement after the game.

The Galen Center was sold out as everyone was anticipating the debut of James. The Trojans used the electric atmosphere to jump ahead early in the first half. 

Isaiah Collier and Vincent Iwuchukwu had 10 points apiece in the first half as the Trojans offense got off to the hot start.

It didn’t take long for Bronny James to find himself in the game. About eight minutes in, James checked in to a standing ovation and loud cheers.

Photo by De’Angelo Scruggs / fi360 News

The Beach found themselves down by as many as 17 at one point before cutting the lead to 15 at the half. 

However, the start of the second half saw the Trojans fall flat. They were missing open shots and getting into foul trouble. USC head coach Andy Enfield did not mince words when it came to his team’s effort.

“We had a 15 point lead at halftime, it was disappointing to see our energy when we started the second half…they had more energy and I didn’t understand it. We had a great crowd and we played so energetic in the first half,” Enfield said.

DJ Rodman fouled out late in the second half and Kobe Johnson and Iwuchukwu had four fouls apiece. 

USC had a chance to steal this one in regulation but on the last possession of the game with 3.9 seconds left, Enfield drew up a play that would’ve led to a potential Boogie Ellis shot. Ellis instead passed up on the shot and gave it to Collier whose shot was tipped and sent the game into overtime.

Photo by De’Angelo Scruggs / fi360 News

“I don’t know why he passed it, that wasn’t the design, it was meant for Boogie,” Enfield said about Ellis’ decision to not shoot. 

Long Beach State’s Marcus Tsohonis had a big game for The Beach. The VCU transfer finished with 28 points as he made big time buckets for the Long Beach State when they needed it the most, including the game-sealing free throws at the end of overtime to push The Beach’s lead to five. 

USC will have to find their adjustments quickly as they have two road trips to Alabama to take on Auburn and Alabama State and then to Oregon, where they will play Oregon and Oregon State to start their final season of Pac-12 conference play.

LeBron James looks back. (Photo by De’Angelo Scruggs / fi360 News)