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No. 10 USC rallies in second half to get by UC Irvine

Sportsnaut
Dec 4, 2021; Pullman, Washington, USA; USC Trojans head coach Andy Enfield looks on against the Washington State Cougars in the first half at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2021; Pullman, Washington, USA; USC Trojans head coach Andy Enfield looks on against the Washington State Cougars in the first half at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Chevez Goodwin scored 23 points, including a key put-back with 24 seconds remaining, and Isaiah Mobley recorded his third consecutive double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, as No. 10 USC rallied from a 10-point deficit to survive a scare from UC Irvine, 66-61, Wednesday in Los Angeles.

The Trojans (11-0) jumped ahead 12-2 in the first 5:20, but were outscored 34-16 for the rest of the half. The Anteaters built a lead of as many as 10 points and took an eight-point advantage into the locker room.

Collin Welp scored 11 of his game-high 24 points before intermission to pace UC Irvine (5-3). The Anteaters defense held USC to just 2-of-7 3-point shooting in the first half and forced eight turnovers they converted into 12 points.

The Trojans defense turned the tide in the second half, holding UC Irvine to just 11-of-34 shooting, including 1-of-10 from behind the 3-point arc.

Defensive intensity helped USC chip away at the deficit, and the Trojans took their first lead since the 9:21 mark of the first half when Goodwin’s free throw capped a 13-4 run with 10:56 left in regulation.

Goodwin’s 23 points were his most since transferring to USC ahead of the 2020-21 season.

USC briefly conceded the lead, but kept UC Irvine at arm’s length down the stretch. Mobley hit a 3-pointer and Goodwin scored on an and-one, both sequences doubling the Trojans’ lead to six points.

That proved critical, as Welp made a pair of buckets in the final two minutes to pull the Anteaters within two points. That set the scene for Goodwin’s put-back of a Mobley miss.

Goodwin and Mobley combined for 17 of USC’s 24 total made field goals. No other Trojan scored in double-figures. Max Agbonkpolo, who scored six points, shot 2-of-9 from the floor.

DJ Davis scored 12 points for UC Irvine, and Austin Johnson added 10 points and nine rebounds.

–Field Level Media