Ebene Magazine – USC recovers with a big win over Oregon

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Ebene Magazine - USC recovers with a big win over Oregon

USC security guard Drew Peterson (13) shoots during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon security guard Will Richardson (0) shoots USC security guard Drew Peterson (left) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC striker Evan Mobley (4) shoots during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon security guard Will Richardson (0) shoots USC security guard Isaiah White (5) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC guard Ethan Anderson (20) shoots at Oregon striker Chandler Lawson (13) and guard Chris Duarte (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, February 22, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon striker Eric Williams Jr. (50) holds the ball from USC striker Chevez Goodwin (1) and guard Isaiah White (center) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, Jan. February 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon striker Eric Williams Jr., 50, shoots USC striker Evan Mobley, 4, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC guard Isaiah White (5) gets an arm in the face by Oregon striker Eric Williams Jr., right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC guard Isaiah White (5) blocks a shot by Oregon guard Will Richardson (0) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon head coach Dana Altman stands on the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Southern California on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC guard Isaiah White (left), guard Drew Peterson (right) and Oregon guard Chris Duarte (5) attack in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles after a loose ball. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC striker Evan Mobley (4) shoots Oregon security guard Chris Duarte (5) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC striker Max Agbonkpolo (center left) celebrates a 72:58 win over Oregon after an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC security guard Drew Peterson, 13, defends himself against Oregon security guard Amauri Hardy, 11, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon security guard Chris Duarte, 5, attempts to grab the ball from the ground during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against USC on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon striker Chandler Lawson, 13, and security guard LJ Figueroa (right) defend themselves against USC security guard Tahj in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles Eaddy (2). (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC striker Max Agbonkpolo (23) defends himself against Oregon security guard Chris Duarte (5) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC head coach Andy Enfield yells from the sidelines during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon security guard Chris Duarte (5) plays the ball while USC security guard Isaiah White defends the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC striker Max Agbonkpolo (23) plays the ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Franck Kepnang (22) of Oregon in Los Angeles on February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC striker Max Agbonkpolo (23) plays the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon Monday, February 22, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon striker Eric Williams Jr. (50) defends himself against USC security guard Drew Peterson (left) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021 . (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon striker Chandler Lawson (13) plays the ball in the first half of a game against USC on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC guard Isaiah White (5) reacts after scoring a point in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon striker Eric Williams Jr., 50, shoots USC striker Evan Mobley, 4, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Oregon striker Eugene Omoruyi (right) defends himself against USC security guard Tahj Eaddy (2) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Monday, February 22, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

Central Oregon’s Franck Kepnang (22) falls to USC striker Evan Mobley (4) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, February 22, 2021. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

USC security guard Drew Peterson (left) and security guard Ethan Anderson celebrate at the Galen Center during a break in the first half of Monday’s Pac-12 win over Oregon. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)

LOS ANGELES – Evan Mobley didn’t attempt a field goal until 4:06 was left in the first half of the USC game against Oregon on Monday.

Normally, a slow start from their leading scorer would mean trouble for the Trojans. But Mobley’s first bucket, courtesy of Tahj Eaddy, extended USC’s lead to 18 points.

It was that kind of game for the Trojans who were well on their way to claim a 72-58 victory over the Ducks.

At first it seemed like the Trojans in 19th place (19-4 overall, 13-3 in Pac-12) would run away with it. USC scored the first 15 points of the game. Oregon missed its first 12 shots. And Eaddy’s 21 points in the first half didn’t match the total number of ducks for the first 20 minutes.

« Our goal is to come out tonight with the right intensity, » said Eaddy.

But after the lead grew to 26 in the second half, the Ducks (14-5, 9-4) reduced the lead to 10 on consecutive 3-pointers with 5:56. But a corner 3-pointer from Max Agbonkpolo put the Trojans back to 13, and Oregon never got any closer as their five-game winning streak came to an end.

Eaddy threw 3-pointers on the first three USC holdings. It became clear he was unstoppable when the 6-foot-2 guard stepped back into a 3-pointer over time on the shot clock and a larger defender guarding him.

His 24-point stake – on 8v15 shooting, including 6v11 from 3-point range – was the standout feat, but USC had multiple players involved in the action.

Isaiah White’s hustle and bustle was evident, with three offensive rebounds and a few bruises from the court. Ethan Anderson had eight assists and two steals on his return to the grid for the first time since a back injury that sidelined him for six weeks.

And then there was Drew Peterson, who had dropped out of the wings in favor of Anderson. When Peterson got off the bench, he quickly scored a layup and helped Isaiah White open a 13-0 lead on the next possession.

Oregon called for a white bucket break as the USC bank rushed into the field cheering.

Peterson finished the race with a double-doubles with 15 points and 11 rebounds, making a 3-pointer key and a fadeaway jumper in the color to slow down the runs in the Oregon second half.

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« When I got off the bank, I woke up a little, » said Peterson. « I’ve talked to (head coach Andy Enfield) and obviously I shot badly and lost a bit of confidence. He just told me to get it back and I really just came into the game to do a little bit of everything.  »

The ducks almost got back to it, using a court press for parts of the first half and almost all of the second half to create additional possessions through USC’s 16 sales (nine in the second half). But the deficit was too great.

USC couldn’t have asked for a better answer to Saturday’s loss to Arizona, in which the Trojans lost two places in the latest AP poll. Or to the late scratch of striker Isaiah Mobley, who averaged 11.5 points and 9.3 rebounds in the last four games due to a calf strain.

« Our players were really focused, » said Enfield, whose team drove for first place in the Pac-12 with the win half a game ahead of UCLA. « You got it when you saw part of the video from Saturday’s game where we were being played by a very good team from Arizona and they just didn’t want that to happen again tonight. »

Trojans took first place in the Pac-12 with a great victory over the ducks!

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