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Stout defense, Boogie Ellis’ 27 points lead USC past BYU

Nov 23, 2022; Paradise Island, BAHAMAS; USC Trojans guard Reese Dixon-Waters (2) dribbles as Brigham Young Cougars forward Noah Waterman (0) defends during the first half at Imperial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Boogie Ellis scored 27 points, Drew Peterson went 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and Southern California’s defense stifled Brigham Young en route to an 82-76, opening-round win Wednesday at the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

The Trojans (4-1) held BYU to just 25-of-59 shooting from the floor and used a stretch of more than four minutes midway through the second half in which the Cougars went without making a field goal to open a 13-point lead.

That dry stretch put the Cougars (3-2) on the wrong end of an 18-4 run that put them in a 16-point hole.

Ellis and Reese Dixon-Waters, who finished with 13 points, combined for the first 15 Trojans points during that ultimately decisive run.

Joshua Morgan capped the dominant stretch with three of his points. The USC big man also grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked a shot and made a steal. Tre White ripped off a pair or steals and blocked a shot to contribute to the Trojans’ overwhelming defensive effort.

Four BYU scorers reached double figures, led by Spencer Johnson’s 18 points. Jaxson Robinson added 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range, while Rudi Williams — who finished with 15 points — and Gideon George, who scored 14, each joined Johnson knocking down a pair of attempts from long range.

Their 3-point shooting efforts powered BYU to a 12-of-32 performance from deep. The long ball gave the Cougars some life down the stretch, as BYU battled back to within a single-digit deficit, but it ultimately proved too much to overcome.

So, too, did USC’s strength on the interior.

Although the Trojans shot just 2 of 10 from 3-point range, their 34-20 advantage in points in the paint compensated. USC shot 53.4 percent from the floor overall thanks to its 29-of-48 performance on 2-point field-goal attempts.

–Field Level Media