Corvallis, OR – USC faced Oregon State this afternoon in a match-up that was originally scheduled for December 20th and subsequently postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Beaver program. The Trojans came into the game on a six-game conference winning streak, and second in the Pac-12 with a 6-1 record. The Beavers came off an exciting one-point win over Arizona State. Oregon State escaped with the 58-56 upset win, surviving a last USC possession. Ethan Thompson and Jarod Lucas led the Beavers with 13 points. Evan Mobley led the Trojans with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Possibly due to the early start, both teams did not look particularly good on offense in the first half. USC particularly had problems finding the bottom of the net, shooting 0-of-9 from distance, 36 percent overall and committing eight turnovers to four for Oregon State. The Beavers pulled away late to take a 31-23 halftime lead. Lucas connected on a three-pointer on the last possession of the half to give the Beavers their eight-point lead. Lucas led the game in scoring with ten points at the half including two 3s. Roman Silva, who came into the game averaging 3.4 points provided a big lift for the home team. The 7-1 center scored eight points, connecting on all four of his field goal attempts, with several nice hook shots. USC’s Evan Mobley had to search for his offensive opportunities but ended the half with six points on 3-of-6 shooting and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
USC came out in the second half and was much more efficient offensively, hitting on six of their first nine three-point attempts. Drew Peterson (10 points) connected on two and Ethan Anderson tied the game with 3:41 left with a three on a pass out from Evan Mobley. Silva (12 points, 6-7 FG) was efficient all game for the Beavers but committed back-to-back fouls, the second his fourth, which forced him to the bench with 13 minutes remaining. The Beavers held a 58-56 lead when Lucas missed a makeable mid-range jumper giving the Trojans a final chance to tie or win the game. Evan Mobley passed out to Peterson who missed a potential game-winning three-pointer. The Beavers secured the rebound as time ran out.
Evan Mobley, a likely top-3 choice in the 2021 NBA draft had a solid game with his double-double in 36 minutes of court time. The 7-foot Mobley has skills that are more attuned to the NBA game. He scored all his field goals from inside in making 5-of-8 shots from the field and added two blocks. USC’s offense didn’t run much for him and he also didn’t appear to hunt for the ball. He’s a good passer who defers to others on offense rather than take the game into his own hands. This contest was also a slow half-court contest with no offensive surges which also did not lend to Mobley showing off all his skills. The Trojans only had four fast-break points in the game.
USC shot only 10-of-18 on free throws. Oregon State shot 12-of-14. That was a major difference in the game. In the slow-moving game turnovers were sparse but the Beavers had an advantage there as well with only eight while USC committed 13. The 56 points were a season low for USC.
Oregon State (7-5, 3-2) will next face intrastate rival Oregon on Saturday night in Eugene. USC (11-3, 6-2) will travel to the Bay Area to Stanford and then Cal on Thursday and Saturday.