Boogie Ellis scored 19 points en route to eclipsing 1,000 for his career as Southern California surged in the second half to down Mount St. Mary’s 83-74 Friday in Los Angeles.
Drew Peterson contributed 15 points, a career-high 12 assists and eight rebounds while Joshua Morgan had 15 points and 12 rebounds — five on the offensive end — for the Trojans (3-1).
USC endured a sluggish first half on the offensive end, shooting 11-for-29 (37.9 percent) from the floor and just 2-for-11 from 3-point range. In the second half, however, the Trojans came alive.
Ellis posted 13 points after halftime and Peterson notched 10 in the second 20 minutes to pace the Trojans to 51 second-half points.
Ellis, a senior guard, is in his second year at USC after playing two seasons for Memphis.
USC connected on 15 of 27 (55.6 percent) from the floor after break, including 5 of 11 from beyond the 3-point arc. The Trojans made 16 of 20 second-half free-throw attempts.
Mount St. Mary’s (1-3) was ahead for much of the game’s first 10 minutes but managed just five total points over an eight-minute stretch during which USC pulled ahead.
The Trojans took the lead for good with a little more than six minutes to go before halftime, and they pushed the advantage to as many as 17 points in the second half.
The Mountaineers’ Dakota Leffew led all scorers, shooting 4-for-5 from 3-point range en route to 21 points. Jalen Benjamin shot 9-for-10 from the foul line and finished with 17 points and seven assists, but the Trojans held him to a dismal 3-of-20 shooting from the floor.
Malik Jefferson amassed a double-double of 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field and 11 rebounds for Mount St. Mary’s.
With the win, USC will carry a three-game winning streak into next week’s Battle 4 Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas. Mount St. Mary’s will look to regroup with two games remaining in a three-game swing through California, Sunday at Cal Poly and Tuesday at Pacific.
–Field Level Media