USC disappointing losing streak continues

Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News

Los Angeles, CA- The University of Southern California Trojans (8-13, 2-8 Pac 12) disappointing losing streak continues after their 78-69 loss to the visiting Oregon Ducks (15-6, 7-3 Pac 12).

Visibly frustrated after six consecutive losses head coach Andy Enfield called out his collective of big men for their lack of defensive rebounding after only grabbing 7 combined and allowing 17 offensive rebounds for the Ducks.

James drives to the lane. (Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News)

“Rebounding, our four bigs are not very good defensive rebounders and in fact are poor, and you can’t keep playing 15-20-25 minutes a game and having zero or one defensive rebound. So that really hurts us… Arizona hurt us on the boards, UCLA crushed us on their offensive rebounds. Even when you play great defense, 36% tonight we held them, they had 17 offensive rebounds. Our four bigs are just not that good at defensive rebounding and they have to get better.“

Freshman guard Jackson Shelstad was a nightmare for USC’s perimeter defense. Shelstad got out to a hot start scoring 10 of his 15 first-half points in the opening minutes. Oregon shot 40% from the field on 14 of 35 shooting and 7 of 17 from three-point line for 41%. In addition, the Ducks shot 13 first-half free throws compared to 4 free throws for the Trojans.

Ellis uses a screen. (Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News)

Boogie Ellis led the USC in scoring with 17 points on 5 of 16 shooting and 3-11 from behind the arc. Oziyah Sellers added 12 points.

USC shot 50% from the field in the first half, going 15-30 and making 5 of 14 from the three-point line.

In the second-half, both teams struggled to score. Oregon shot 33% from the field going 10-30 and USC shot 37% going 12-32. Oregon shot eight second-half free throws compared to two free throws for USC.

“I thought the free throw line was a factor”, Enfield said. “I thought we got fouled a few more times than were actually called, but we only shot six free throws the whole game, and so there was a foul discrepancy and a free throw discrepancy which hurt us. We didn’t help ourselves. We made some ill-advised fouls that put them in the bonus early.”

Despite both teams struggling with their shooting in the second half, Oregon extended its lead to 18 points, their largest lead of the night.

USC responded with a 13-3 run that cut the Ducks lead down to seven with 00:59 left on the game clock.

(Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News)

In a frantic final moment for the Trojans, the team missed four consecutive shots. Kobe Johnson attempted two 3-pointers, followed by another attempt from Ellis, and finally, Kijani Wright tried a dunk. Despite their efforts, the Trojans were unable to convert on any of these opportunities which shut the door on any possibility for a comeback.

Jackson Shelstad finished the game with 20 points for the Ducks, Kario Oquendo contributed 12 points.

Bronny James finished the game with a career-high seven assists to go along with six points.

Sellers makes a move. (Photo by DeAngelo Scruggs / fi360 News)

The Trojans must try to turn things around quickly as they host the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday. The Beavers defeated the USC in their earlier match up 86-70.