warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

USC Hoops Drops Howard, Moves to 9-4

Sean Burch |
December 30, 2013 | 6:43 p.m. PST

Staff Contributor

Julian Jacobs had five of the Trojans' 20 turnovers. (Charles Magovern/Neon Tommy)
Julian Jacobs had five of the Trojans' 20 turnovers. (Charles Magovern/Neon Tommy)
The USC men’s basketball team, led by JT Terrell and Byron Wesley, head into 2014 on a high note after taking care of Howard University, 82-60, Sunday afternoon at the Galen Center.

The Trojans pushed their record to 9-4 on the season -- and 7-0 at home – even after a less-than-stellar first half. 

Despite dominating Howard on the glass in the first half with a 22-8 rebounding advantage, and holding the Bison to 12-of-30 from the floor, the Trojans only held a 29-26 lead heading into halftime. 

The Trojans simply couldn’t hold on to the ball in the first half, committing 12 turnovers and sending half a dozen passes into the stands. The Bison were also able to stay in the game because the Trojans clanked 9 of 14 free throws in the opening 20 minutes 

The lone bright spot to start the game for USC was senior swingman Terrell, who hit his first five shots on his way to 12 first half points.

Coming off the bench after seven minutes of action, Terrell had the full repertoire on display: Stepback 3s, check. Euro-step transition layups, check. Midrange jumper, check. 

“I think JT is great coming off the bench…that might change, it might not,” said USC coach Andy Enfield. “His game is evolving, he’s making better decisions, making better passes, and taking better shots.” 

Whatever the Trojans discussed at halftime, it worked, as they came out and laid the smack down on Howard, opening up with a pretty lob from Pe’Shon Howard to Julian Jacobs for a reverse layup.  

Howard missed his only field goal attempt of the game, but still managed to make an impact by contributing 7 rebounds and 9 assists. 

And where Terrell left off, Wesley picked up in the second half. The junior guard scored 14 of his 20 points in the first seven minutes of the second half, including back-to-back possessions with and-1 layups. 

The flood gates opened up from that point, with USC pushing their lead to as high as 29. 

Wesley and Terrell combined for 38 points on 15-of-25 shooting from the field. After the game, Wesley said he is happy to have Terrell back on the court after some academic issues. 

“He brings a lot of excitement, a lot of energy everyday,” Wesley said. “He’s really goofy and really fun to be around, and I think it translates on the court.” 

The Trojans have a week off before they open Pac-12 play next Sunday against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, and Terrell doesn’t feel playing the rivalry game on the road will be anything new for the Trojans.

“We just have to come in focused,” said Terrell. “It’s not going to be a crowd we haven’t played against before in Utah State and Dayton. It’s just going to be a regular game.” 

Game Notes:
  • Trojans Center Omar Oraby had a quiet game on offense with only six points, but did pull down a game-high 10 rebounds. 
  • DJ Mal-Ski was on the 1s and 2s getting the crowd hyped up with a mix of old and new-school music.
  • Official Attendance: 5,563
  • The Fan of the Game Award easily goes to the middle-aged man in a grey Howard alumni shirt and purple baseball hat sitting across from the USC bench. His trademark phrase? A quick "Yea Yea!" after every good play from the Bison. 
  • The poor guy that shot the halftime half-court shot came up at least 10 feet shy of the hoop, prompting PA Announcer Petros Papadakis to comment "what a horrible effort." 
Reach Staff Writer Sean Burch here



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.