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No. 5 USC Men’s Basketball Rallies For Exciting 81-71 Oregon State Victory

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THE ANGELS Chevez Goodwin posted a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double, including nine offensive boards, while No. 5 USC men’s basketball rose from a double-digit deficit Thursday night at Galen Center to beat Oregon State, 81-71.

Drew Peterson finished with 17 and made his 1,000th career point at the start of the second half. Boogie Ellis 14 added and Isaiah Mobley scored seven of his 11 points in the second half.

It was a much-needed win for the Trojans (14-1, 4-1 Pac-12), who suffered their first loss of the season at Stanford on Tuesday. USC faced additional hardship on its return to Los Angeles and was forced to play against the Beavers (3-12, 1-4 Pac-12) in front of a limited number of player families and guests.

Despite there being no other fans there was a tense atmosphere as noted by Goodwin and coach Andy Enfield in their radio interviews after the game. Both teams got at least one technical foul and a glaring error by Oregon State motivated Goodwin’s 14-point second half.

“It was an ugly game for us,” said Mobley, a junior captain. “My team trusted me down to the last detail. I was running on fumes. We had to grind it out.”

USC endured a 16-point first half from Oregon State guard Jarod Lucas and the Beavers shot 57.7% in the opening period. Oregon State, which won the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament last season and also advanced to the Elite Eight, led the entire first half, leading 42-37 at halftime.

“Anyone in the state of Oregon who shot the ball in the first half, the ball went in,” said Enfield. “Sometimes you have those nights when the opponent gets hot. They were certainly in the first half tonight.”

The Trojans’ deficit looked even more bleak when halftime came after Oregon State took a 7-0 run after Peterson’s milestone jumper to take a 10-point lead, but USC found its rhythm as it pushed the Beavers onto the defense .

Midway through the second half, USC broke out on a 20-5 piece led by Goodwin that gave the Trojans a five-point lead. The Beavers re-took the lead with the layup of Warith Alatishe with 3:55 to go, but the basket was Oregon’s last game. Mobley converted a few free throws and made two other baskets to seal the Trojan victory.

“We got together,” Goodwin said. “They had the momentum, but we found a way to take it out at the end. It was a team effort. My thing was to bring as much energy as possible.”

USC took the win despite finishing with its second worst game of the entire season (41.5%). The Trojans kept the Beavers at just 33.3% in the second half.

“When we were down double digits early in the second half, I was disappointed in our defensive effort and we didn’t come back in the transition,” said Enfield. “We made some adjustments. The boys decided themselves that they were going to win.”

USC will end its Saturday homestand against Oregon (8 p.m. PT, FS1) before starting its Rocky Mountain road trip next week.

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